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Pathological Russophobia
and sociopathic Carthago delenda est
(Carthage must be destroyed)
attitude of the US elite toward Russia

Who Rules America > Neoconservatism >
News Demonization of Putin Recommended Links British roots of US Rusoophobia Cold War II Perfidious Albion
Peak Cheap Energy and Temporary Oil Price Slump USA-Russia Gas War North Stream South Stream Zugzwang for Ukraine Russian Diplomacy
Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism False flag poisonings Skripal poisoning Litvinenko poisoning History of American False Flag Operations DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin
Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Nulandgate Anti-Russian hysteria in connection with DNC leak Putin-did-it fiasco Russian Ukrainian Gas Wars The Rape of Russia
British poisoning false flags MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Great Plunder of Russia after the dissolution of the USSR Obama: a yet another Neocon Professor Steven Cohen Putin stands up to US and G8 warmongers on Syria
Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization  Comprador vs. national bourgeoisie Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Diplomacy by deception Net hamsters
Neoliberal Compradors Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Khodorkovsky case Boris Berezovsky Magnitsky case Navalny's Saga
Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment America and the Imperial Project Demonization of Putin Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Nemtsov assassination
Color revolutions The Rape of Russia, Testimony of Anne Williamson Before the House Banking Committee Russian Color Revolution of 2012 From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Suppression of Russian language and culture in Ukraine
Miraculous metamorphosis of Russian crooks on crossing Western border Comprador vs. national bourgeoisie America and the Imperial Project Most important anti-Russian propaganda campaigns The Deep State Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"
Russian foreign policy Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Pussi Riot Provocation American Exceptionalism "Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for neoliberal penetration into host countries Brain Drain
Soft propaganda The Real War on Reality Economics of Peak Energy Russophobic quotes from famous Russian Liberasts Humor Etc


Introduction

The current US policy of simultaneously antagonizing both China and Russia
 will likely go down as one of the 21st century's more significant strategic miscalculations.
Assuming of course that it is a part of some strategy and not just bumbling incompetence.
Is Russia Being Driven Into the Arms of China

This page is written in hope to help Russian language students to understand the country they are studying despite the level of brainwashing typical for MSM in the West. My own views on the problem were  influenced by Professor  Stephen F. Cohen

Russophobia is not actually only about Russia. It is form of social control of US population. Energy scapegoating is an important part of Propaganda machine, especially war propaganda.  Brainwashing people this way artificially (and temporary) increases social cohesion (as any enemy would) and is practiced when the elite experience difficulties now in 2016. That's why McCarthyism was dusted off and launched into mainstream.  Overextending this trick has negative consequences as Soviet Politburo discovered in starting from 70th.  But with the crisis of neoliberalism (2008  and then defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016 are two stages of the same process) reinventing "Red Scare" again became principally important, as a vital tool of controlling US (and in general, Western) population.

It is also important to understand that Russophobia in many Western countries and first of all in the USA, is an official policy. Much like in Carthago delenda est (Carthage must be destroyed) was during certain period official policy in Rome.

American elite like Roman elite before need an enemy to unite nation as well as a smoke screen that hides their own corruption. Russophibia definitely helps to suppress internal discontent caused by growing inequality, unemployment, shrinking of the middle class and justifies the conversion of the country into National Security State after Islamic threat became less potent.   The mass production of faux news demonizing Russians invokes depictions of Orwell's nefarious Eurasians from whom the populace needed Big Brother for protection. Reincarnation of Ministry of Truth by Barack Obama is just another stage of the same process -- now like Soviet Politburo, the US government is afraid that the US people will be informed about the real events in the world.  And that like BBC and Voice of America in the past were used by Soviet population, at least some segments of Us population started using RT the same way -- to understand where MSM lie to them. 

In a similar vain, in the current international situation, I would consider Russophobia to be some kind of Freudian projection, a politically correct way of replacing  anti-Semitism. King of subconscious substitution of Jews to a different, "more acceptable" (aka politically correct)  nationality, with all related consequences and moral repercussions that entail this equivalency.  There is tragic irony here as Russians in the past were guilty of anti-Semitism (like most European nations).  Now they probably might understand better what it means to be  the target of anti-Semitism.  As Arkadiy Rukh observed (cited from dr-piliulkin.livejournal.com ):

"Today, in the era of the total political correctness in the Western world there is only one object for unpunished hatred, for realization of the inevitable phobias and other psychopathologies. This is Russia. Today Russians occupy in the world that niche, which for many centuries was occupied by the Jews: the object instinctive, illogical, animal hatred."

While in many respects Russophobia as a social phenomenon is somewhat similar to anti-Semitism it is also a natural by-product of American Exeptionalism as Russia refuses to accept the role of vassal that the US elite designated to them after the collapse of the USSR (the role which was temporary successfully implemented under drunk Yeltsin) . In this sense if it a condemnation of the revolt against "inevitable" in the eyes of the US elite world order --  the global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  That also explains the level of bitterness involved. Russophobia became so fashionable in Western neoliberal MSM when Russia under Putin became an obstacle on the creation of the global, dominated by the USA neoliberal empire. That resistance to "neoliberal project" (although weak and inconsistent -- under Putin Russia became a member of WTO and Medvedev in general is a 'soft" neoliberal, almost a pro-Western comprador) also generates considerable amount of hate.  Pages of European and American newspapers and their comments columns, are packed with expressions such as

and other similar cliché that clearly remind German propaganda against Jews. This anti-Russian hysteria also helps to erase Snowden revelations from Western collective memory.

In other words the hatred of Russia  now is "a new normal" for the US neoliberal establishment and controlled by this establishment MSM.  How and for what reasons did this happen? The first thing to understand is that this is not a new phenomenon. British elite were adamantly Russophobic for a long time, several centuries:

The historian J. H. Gleason, in his 1950 book The Genesis of Russophobia in Great Britain, characterized the nineteenth-century English public’s “antipathy toward Russia” as the “most pronounced and enduring element in the national outlook on the world abroad.”

The sentiment, Gleason concluded, was concocted by a manipulative, imperial-minded elite—and was off base, anyway, since Britain’s foreign policy was actually “more provocative than Russia’s” in this period. Others concur. “The world champion imperialists of modern history, the British, were in a permanent state of hysteria about the chimera of Russia advancing over the Himalayas to India,”

While observations of Arkadiy Rukh are, in my opinion, absolutely correct (the article I cited above is pretty interesting too and contains a valuable discussion) I would add a more recent neoliberal edge of this problem (The Vineyard of the Saker):

The historical roots of the Russophobia of the American elites

Having said all of the above, its actually pretty simple to understand why Russia in general, and Putin in particular, elicits such a deep hatred from the Western plutocracy: having convinced themselves that they won the Cold War they are now facing the double disappointment of a rapidly recovering Russia and a Western economic and political decline turning into what seems to be a slow and painful agony.

In their bitterness and spite, Western leaders overlook the fact that Russia has nothing to do with the West's current problems. Quite to the contrary, in fact: the main impact the collapse of the Soviet Union on the US-run international economic system was to prolong its existence by creating a new demand for US dollars in Eastern Europe and Russia (some economists - such as Nikolai Starikov - estimate that the collapse of the USSR gave an extra 10+ years of life to the US dollar).

In the past, Russia has been the historical arch-enemy of the British Empire. As for Jews - they have always harbored many grievances towards pre-revolutionary Tsarist Russia. The Revolution of 1917 brought a great deal of hope for many East-European Jews, but it was short lived as Stalin defeated Trotsky and the Communist Party was purged from many of its Jewish members. Over and over again Russia has played a tragic role in the history of the Ashkenazi Jews and this, of course, has left a deep mark on the worldview of the Neocons who are all deeply Russophobic, even today. Somebody might object that many Jews are deeply grateful for the Soviet Army's liberation of Jews from the Nazi concentration camps or for the fact that the Soviet Union was the first country to recognize Israel. But in both cases, the country which is credited with these actions is the Soviet Union and not Russia which most Ashkenazi Jews still typically associate anti-Jewish policies and values.

It is thus not surprising that both the Anglo and the Jewish elites in the US would harbor an almost instinctive dislike for, and fear of, Russia, especially one perceived as resurgent or anti-American. And the fact is that they are not wrong in this perception: Russia is most definitely resurgent, and the vast majority of the Russian public opinion is vehemently anti-American, at least if by "America" we refer to the civilizational model or economic system.

... ... ...

Considering the never ending barrage of anti-Russian propaganda in the western corporate media one could wonder how strong anti-Russian feelings are in the West. This is really hard to measure objectively, but as somebody born in Western Europe and who has lived a total of 15 years in the USA I would say that anti-Russian sentiment in the West is very rare, almost non-existent. In the USA there have always been strong anti-Communist feelings - there still are today - but somehow most Americans do make the difference between a political ideology that they don't really understand, but that they dislike anyway, and the people which in the past used to be associated with it.

US *politicians*, of course, mostly hate Russia, but most Americans seem to harbor very little bad feelings or apprehension about Russia or the Russian people. I explain that by a combination of factors.

First, since more and more people in the West realize that they are not living in a democracy, but in a plutocracy of the 1%, they tend to take the official propaganda line with more than a grain of salt (which, by the way, is exactly what was happening to most Soviet people in the 1980s). Furthermore, more and more people in the West who oppose the plutocratic imperial order which impoverishes and disenfranchises them into corporate serfs are quite sympathetic to Russia and Putin for "standing up to the bastards in Washington". But even more fundamentally, there is the fact that in a bizarre twist of history Russia today stands for the values of the West of yesterday: international law, pluralism, freedom of speech, social rights, anti-imperialism, opposition to intervention inside sovereign states, rejection of wars as a means to settle disputes, etc.

In the case of the war in Syria, Russia's absolutely consistent stance in defense of international law has impressed many people in the USA and Europe and one can hear more and more praise for Putin from people who in the past has deep suspicions about him.

Russia, of course, is hardly a utopia or some kind of perfect society, far from it, but it has taken the fundamental decision to become a *normal* country, as opposed to being a global empire, and any normal country will agree to uphold the principles of the "West of yesterday", not only Russia. In fact, Russia is very un-exceptional in its pragmatic realization that to uphold these principles is not a matter of naive idealism, but a sound realistic policy goal. People in the West are told by their rulers and the corporate media that Putin in an evil ex-KGB dictator who is a danger for the US and its allies, but as soon as these people actually read or listen to what Putin actually says they find themselves in a great deal of agreement with him.

In another funny twist of history, while the Soviet population used to turn to the BBC, Voice of America or Radio Liberty for news and information, more and more people in the West are turning to Russia Today, Press TV, or Telesur to get their information. Hence the panicked reaction of Walter Isaacson, Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the US outfit overseeing US media directed at foreign audiences, who declared that "we can't allow ourselves to be out-communicated by our enemies. You've got Russia Today, Iran's Press TV, Venezuela's TeleSUR, and of course, China is launching an international broadcasting 24-hour news channel with correspondents around the world". Folks like Isaacson know that they are slowly but surely loosing the informational battle for the control of the minds of the general public.

And now, with the entire Snowden affair, Russia is becoming the safe harbor for those political activists who are fleeing Uncle Sam's wrath. A quick search on the Internet will show you that more and more people are referring to Putin as the "leader of the Free World" while other are collecting signatures to have Obama give his Nobel Prize to Putin. Truly, for those like myself who have actually fought against the Soviet system it is absolutely amazing to see the 180 degree turn the world has taken since the 1980s.

Western elites - still stuck in the Cold War

If the world has radically changed in the last 20 years, the Western elites did not. Faced with a very frustrating reality they are desperately trying to re-fight the Cold War with the hope of re-winning it again. Hence the never ending cycle of Russia-bashing campaigns I mentioned at the beginning of this post. They try to re-brand Russia as the new Soviet Union, with oppressed minorities, jailed or murdered dissidents, little or no freedom of speech, a monolithic state controlled media and an all seeing security apparatus overseeing it all. The problem, of course, is that they are 20 years late and that these accusations don't stick very well with the western public opinion and get exactly *zero* traction inside Russia. In fact, every attempt at interfering inside Russian political affairs has been so inept and clumsy that it backfired every single time. From the absolutely futile attempts of the West to organize a color-coded revolution in the streets of Moscow to the totally counter-productive attempts to create some kind of crisis around homosexual human rights in Russia - every step taken by the western propaganda machine has only strengthened Vladimir Putin and his the "Eurasian Sovereignists" at the expense of the "Atlantic Integrationist" faction inside the Kremlin.

There was a deep and poignant symbolism in the latest meeting of the 21 APEC countries in Bali. Obama had to cancel his trip because of the US budget crisis while Putin was treated to a musically horrible but politically deeply significant rendition of "Happy birthday to you!" by a spontaneous choir composed of the leaders of the Pacific Rim countries. I can just imagine the rage of the White House when they saw "their" Pacific allies serenading Putin for his birthday!

... ... ...

On one side we have the 1%, the Anglo imperialists and the Ziocons, while on the other we have the rest of the planet, including potentially 99% of the American people. If it is true that at this moment in time Putin and his Eurasian Sovereignists are the most powerful and best organized faction of the worldwide resistance to the Empire, they are far from being central, or even less so, crucial, to it. Yes, Russia can, and will, play its role, but only as a normal country amongst many other normal countries, some small and economically weak like Ecuador, other huge and powerful like China. But even small Ecuador was "big enough" to grand refuge to Julian Assange while China seems to have asked Snowden to please leave. So Ecuador is not that small after all?

It would be naive to hope that this "de-imperialization" process of the USA could happen without violence. The French and British Empires collapsed against the bloody backdrop of WWII, while did the Nazi and Japanese Empires were crushed under a carpet of bombs. The Soviet Empire collapsed with comparatively less victims, and most of the violence which did take place during that process happened on the Soviet periphery. In Russia itself, the number of death of the mini civil war of 1993 was counted in the thousands and not in the millions. And by God's great mercy, not a single nuclear weapon was detonated anywhere.

So what will likely happen when the US-Ziocon Empire finally collapses under its own weight? Nobody can tell for sure, but we can at least hope that just as no major force appeared to rescue the Soviet Empire in 1991-1993, no major force will attempt to save the US Empire either. As David Rovic's puts it so well, the big weakness of the 1% which rule the US-Ziocon Empire is that "they are a tiny minority and we are everywhere".

In the past 20 years the US and Russia have followed diametrically opposed courses and their roles appears to have been reversed. That "pas de deux" is coming to some kind of end now. Objective circumstances have now again placed these two countries in opposition to each other, but this is solely due to the nature of the regime in Washington DC. Russian leaders could repeat the words of the English rapper Lowkey and declare "I'm not anti-America, America is anti-me!" and they could potentially be joined by 99% of Americans who, whether they already realize it or not, are also the victims of the US-Ziocon Empire.

In the meantime, the barrage of anti-Russian propaganda campaigns will continue unabated simply because this seems to have become a form of psychotherapy for a panicked and clueless western plutocracy. And just as in all the previous cases, this propaganda campaign will have no effect at all.

It is my hope that next time we hear about whatever comes next after the current "Greenpeace" campaign you will keep all this in mind.

The Saker

The USA and Russian should be strategic partners

During the "cold War" the "old" US elite behaved more or less reasonable and tried to avoid unnecessary confrontation. Several moments were clear exception (Korea War, Cuban crisis, Vietnam war and support of radical political Islam in Afghanistan), but all-in-all it was kind of policy of "peaceful coexistence" (live and give other chance to live), not of an outright "all out" confrontation. Intelligence agencies behaves more provocatively, especially CIA in Europe, which organized and trained Nazi collaborators for the resistance to the possible Soviet invasion, and subsequent guerilla movement against Soviet occupation.

Also in case of JFK assassination, the patsy was chosen in a way that makes it easy to implicate Russia.

but those were exception, rather then the rule.  Probably the memory of the WWII still played some role in such restrain. But eventually a new generation of US elite, the elite did not have WWII experience come to power.

This  new US elite tried hard to colonize Russia instead of making it a valuable partner after dissolution of the USSR. Bill Clinton and Larry Summers are two good example of this behaviour. This adventurism backfired.  This was probably the first blunder, the blunder make by Clinton administration -- the first administration with a lot of neocons onboard (we all remember unforgettable female neocon Madeleine Albright). 

Subsequent administration also demonstrated strong neocon influence (actually neocons, such as Paul Wolfowitz dominated Bush II administration foreign policy)  and due to it made several strategic blunders such as invasions in Iraq, Afghanistan  and Libya.  And that despite the fact the Russia provided great help in Afghan operation, as it essentially controlled (and armed) the North Alliance against Taliban. 

Obama administration essentially continued Bush II foreign policy without major changes. The only change was that is did was more double-dealing. It did get Russia into a trap, when Medvedev government abstain in UN Security council votes for Libyan resolution (which was a disguised justification of NATO military intervention), which opened the way to the occupation of Libya and killing of colonel Kaddafi ("We came, we saw, he died").  Obama administration also masterfully played Iran card against Russia, crashing oil prices three times (from $120 to $30) from the second half of 2014 to January 2016 and keeping oil prices below $50 per barrel (on average) all 2016 (Russia needs approximately $50-$55 to balance the state budget).

It also outplayed Russia in Ukraine tuning this county into nationalistic enclave extremely hostile to Russia (see "Fuck the EU": neocons show EU its real place ). And then to add insult to injury introduced sanctions against Russia. Obama might be not a great president, but he for sure is one of the greatest hypocrites in world history.

But those attacks as well as a clear attempt to encircle Russia in Europe backfired: if you pursue containment of China and at the same time introduce sanctions against Russia it is only natural that these countries will become closer political partners. From the point of view of traditional American and any other political logic, actions that contribute to the rapprochement between Moscow and Beijing, are, to put it mildly, unwise.  And that what Obama administration archived. This is the main legacy of Obama administration in foreign policy.

Russian elite for too long was trying to please the Western colleagues. They swallowed completely unacceptable things. They resigned to NATO expansion. Even after the bombing of Yugoslavia, which was  a clear violation of international law, they still viewed the USA a friendly nation and hoped for the best. Another problem was that Russia was too weak at the moment, kind of semi-colony of the USA (and Yeltsin regime was clearly a comprador regime, no question about it).  But at this point attitude to the USA start changing to negative.  After Ukrainian coup d'état of February 2014 (Maydan Revolution, as it is called in the West) this change only accelerated. In other words huge amount of political goodwill that existed in Russia after dissolution of the USSR was completely squandered in less then 30 years.   That's an amazing art of making enemies from friends. 

But at the end of Obama administration Russia just stopped to trust the USA. At all. They view Obama as treacherous and extremely dangerous imperialist, who will not stop at anything by promoting the Us domination.  That means that they now view the USA as a geopolitical gangster, which is violating any laws in impunity using classic "might makes right" principle. That's a dangerous view and dangerous situation for the USA.  This is another geopolitical blunder of the US elite.

I never was a Russian citizen, but I was and still am interested in Russian politics and, especially, culture. I think that it is a European culture in its essence. Very interesting and very rich. Which was able to survive years of Soviet rule. So attempt of isolate Russia from Europe attempted by Obama neocons (see Nulandgate), following classic "device and conquer strategy of British Empire, might be a mistake.

Neocons defined Russia as the main threat. In other words deterrence of Moscow became the strategic goal of the USA foreign policy, which is essentially a neocon foreign policy, the policy of obtaining and maintaining the world domination at all costs.  That means that the efforts to explicitly shape the USA public opinion to see Russia as the key geopolitical enemy are dictated by priorities of the USA foreign policy, which is defined by neocons.

The role of skepticism

My negative attitude to distortions and clearly orchestrated by White house  anti-Russian campaign in the USA press reflects my natural skepticism. I am not content with typical coverage of Russia in the USA press which reminds me the caricature on the USA coverage by Soviet press (which at the time had higher standard of living the people of the USSR and low level of unemployment).  I consider hysteric Russophobia that is now practiced  to be simplistic and counterproductive policy which serves to promote equally shortsighted global imperial policy that benefits only the US financial oligarchy. Policy that has considerable cold-war inertia and that is damaging to the USA long term interests. Most journalists are simply behave like paid attack dogs (a good example here is Mr. Wallace: his interview of Putin was an insult to the American people; Wallace actually tried to lecture Vladimir Putin).

Here I collected some of the authors who try to see more long term approach and try to present their own understanding of the complex problems related to previous US attempt to colonize Russia after the dissolution of the USSR.  Or at least advice a more realistic US foreign policy toward Russia. Of course it is nice to squash the old geo-political enemy like a bug and I would be the first to admit that under Yeltsin West came close to this scenario. Criminal privatization of Russian companies was hugely successful attempt to put an end to the Russia as an independent country. Similar strategy was by-and-large successful in other USSR republics like Ukraine, Georgia and especially Baltic countries creating what can be called New Latin America.

But after Putin came to power, the attempts to convert Russia into yet another Latin American country became gradually reversed (although this process is some areas went too far and to reverse it completely is very difficult). As Ira Straus aptly put it in her letter Russia, U.S. Media:

Nowadays attacking Russia has a politically correct tinge to it, since Russia is a white Christian country. By contrast, attacking China still suffers from being susceptible to counter-charges of racism and anti-Communism. Perhaps this is the source of the strange double standard in which Russia is attacked just about any day for just about anything while China is virtually ignored day after day, month after month for the same and far worse.

Attacking Russia is especially "correct" when it is a matter attacking a Republican Administration for being soft on a Russia that is beating up on Muslims. One doubts that much of the American public shares the media's sensibilities on this. Picture bubba listening as Dan Rather launches into Russia for beating up on Muslim Chechens; he'll probably be telling himself, "there the liberal media go again, standing up for our enemies and blaming our allies the Russians for fighting back". Among Americans who write about politics, only Pat Buchanan and Ann Coulter dare to say such things, but many more think it, in whole or in part.

The importance of adversarial culture for the media can be seen from the Bush I administration, which truly was anti-Russian. The media bashed Bush I for this; it became ambivalent on Russia, taking on a more pro-Russian hue than any time before or since. As soon as Clinton got a pro-Russian reputation, the media switched back to Russia-bashing mode. It was Clinton-bashing that was the real point.

In other words, the media should not be taken as a barometer of U.S. government policies on Russia. It is more often an indicator of the opposite.

What does it matter? A lot. The media drumbeat against Russia has an enormous impact on public policy, not only in the US but in every Western country, and in Russia itself. It makes it hard to think clearly, or even to see clearly. It fosters and fans conflict. It promotes a tit for every tat.

First, the effects on Russians. The media play an enormous role in convincing them that we're an enemy. They can see CNN, BBC and other Western media daily, at length; they hear from our government only rarely, and practically never from the American people. They can see the Western media's implicit premises far more clearly than the media themselves do. Mistakenly assuming these premises to represent Western policy, they draw what would be the logical conclusion: that we are their enemy. If Russia does in turn become an enemy again, the media will have been a major cause of it.

Second, effects on Western policy-making are just as damaging. Instead of helping the Western governments do their thinking, the media block out most of the space for it. They make it harder for the West to think out loud about such matters as how to build active alliance relations with Russia, or how to overcome the remaining Cold War standoffs. They make it harder to follow a steady course where cooperation has been agreed, They have done much to cause the West to be an unreliable partner for Russia, an unreliability that democrats in Russia noted with profound regret throughout the 1990s. They prioritize conflicting interests over shared interests, encouraging every minor divergence of interest to grow into a major opposition. Their audience ratings flourish on conflict; and no longer fearing it as risking war or nuclear incineration, they promote it shamelessly.

If we end up with a new Cold War -- and the risk is becoming a real one -- it won't be a small thing. It would mean a nuclear superpower once again ranged against us and the world plunged back into a bipolar disorder, only in more unstable conditions. In that case, the media will no doubt turn around and denounce as "reckless" those who carry out their painful duties in the conflict. The truly reckless ones, however, will have been those in this era who so freely did so much to bring it on.

My personal views are close to views expressed by Anatoly Karlin in About Da Russophile

As regards Russian politics, I make no secret that I’m a pro-Putin conservative. That said, my views are moderate – while Western media coverage of Russia may be woefully biased and frequently malicious, there are certainly plenty of things to criticize about Russia and Russians.

However, they must be grounded in in statistics, an appreciation of the viewpoints of ordinary Russians, and a judicious comparative perspective (which is NOT equivalent to "moral relativism" or "whataboutism" as many of the more hardcore Russophobe propagandists claim).

I think that the Western MSM fails on all three counts:

This blog concerns with calling them out on their lies. As the one-time Guardian chief editor C.P. Scott once said, "Comment is free but facts are sacred." While his newspaper has retreated from this vision in practice, I maintain that it’s the most elegant encapsulation of what real journalism (and punditry, blogging, etc) should all be about.

...I consider Charles de Gaulle to have done a great job, and consider Putin to be a comparable figure in vision and stature.

Russians are coming: War hysteria as classic Adorno

Outside obvious "Lebensraum" motives, it looks like western hate towards Russia rests on some deep inadequacy syndrome. Russia is supposed to be some has-been power that is now of no consequence, yet it gets way more attention than such a worthless state would merit. The amount of negative coverage since Sochi Olympics is bordering on war hysteria. That's dangerous pass as ideas became material things when they penetrate deep into conscience of nation. Hate eventually tends to materialize.

The amount of negative coverage since Sochi Olympics is bordering on war hysteria. That's dangerous pass as ideas became material things when they penetrate deep into conscience of nation. Hate eventually tends to materialize.

Russophobia as persistent policy of the US government and US media. And all this talk about Russia aggressiveness, and carefully orchestrated related war hysteria in MSM is pure projection. It is the USA which is the most aggressive international player on the world stage.

Russophobia is the unofficial but persistent set of behavioral patterns of the US government and US media. It is clear that US tried to weaken and possibly dismember Russia out of geopolitical considerations which represents a real threat to the US world hegemony. This idea on which the US elite is hell bent since end of WWII and there were even plans to bomb Russia just after end of WWII.

It is the only military power that can annihilate large part of the continental USA, But there is something deeper here. It is also an attempt to unify nation, which under neoliberalism became much less coherent whole and in which 99% of the population hates the top 1% and the level of this hate is increasing, especially in minorities and inner cities.

Russophobia is a crucial part of the US foreign policy. In this respect the US foreign policy is so messianic that it reminds me Soviet foreign policy (with the substitution of "triumph of democracy" for "triumph of communism") and I wonder if the USSR really was a defeated party in the Cold War. This mentality of "export of revolution" is the integral part of mentality of the US elite. The difference with Trotskyism, if exists, is minor, and the key difference between Trotskyism and the US flavor of messianism probably is connected with the smell of oil which radically increases the urge to democratize a particular country. In any case attempt to export democracy in Russia never stopped since 1991 and under Yeltsin were so successful that the country lost more in industrial production then during the second World War and poverty became a norm for more then 50% of the population.

Carthago delenda est (Carthage must be destroyed) attitude exists partially because the Western elites hate resource nationalists independently whether those nationalists are leftist or conservative. Fighting resource nationalists tooth-and-nail is an important, may be even critical part of neoliberal doctrine. The latter is a civic religion in the USA. That means the Russophobia in the USA has strong religious component, and is supported by 500 pound gorilla of the US elite propaganda machine. In other words there is a strong, consistent tendency of demonization of Russia (Paul Starobin, The National Interest Blog, August 28, 2014):

In any case, our taste for a country—favorable or unfavorable—shouldn’t dictate our foreign policy, which is properly shaped by a cool calculation of our national interest. On these terms, America is right to resist Russia if Putin seems truly bent on bullying his way to a redrawn map of Europe, but also right to try to keep working with Russia on matters of mutual concern such as Islamic militancy. And that same calculation will hold when Putin, as must happen eventually, exits the Kremlin, willingly or unwillingly, whether replaced by a new autocrat or a more democratic figure. Today’s heightened tension between the United States and Russia, conceivably the first chapter of a new cold war, with Europe as ambivalent as ever about its role, underscores that Russia is likely to remain one of America’s most vexing and formidable diplomatic challenges for a long time to come.

So the future of the presentation of Russia as a hodgepodge of unflattering stereotypes seems bright. The naive liberal notion that the world has a teleological disposition toward a progressive end—if only holdouts like Russia would get with the program—is deeply entrenched. Headlines datelined in Russia—on corrupt oligarchs, or on control-freak KGB-generation political operators—will continue to nourish sweeping criticism of Russians, from their leaders on down, as primitive and psychologically ill. Probably no other nation is so easy (or so safe) to caricature.

And the “Russia Is Doomed” syndrome is bound to survive because Russia, alas, still matters. The object of such concentrated anxiety over the centuries, far from heading down a path to obscurity, remains a global force and impossible to ignore. So the worries will live on, too, as will the sublimated wish to efface Russia. But perhaps the good news for the critics is precisely that Russia is not about to go away. They will have plenty of grist for their mill for decades to come.

The issue is whether comprador elites subservient to the US are in power, or more nationalistic "national sovereignty" guys. It is true that a nationalist elite can be as predatory as a comprador elite, but a reasonable degree of national sovereignty is a prerequisite for social justice and it is difficult to raise standard of living if your resources are owned by transnationals. The latter automatically became above the law and do what they want with impunity.

Russophobic views on Russia "There is no life there !"

The Russophobic views on Russia can be summed up in three words: "There is no life there !" This simple formula invoke the whole complex system of "corrupt journalism patterns" and powerful propaganda mechanisms polished during 45 years of Cold War. Those journalistic patterns causes most western journalists (not without help of their political handlers as independent journalism in the USA is a joke) treat Russia as a failed state. Not simply a country that temporary dropped out of the world civilization, but the country is doomed to such a drop by the several immanent features such as "national character", climate, landmass, religion, history, etc.

From Dr. MacFaul quotes above it is clear that in the American media and among American politicians Russia occupies a marginal position. After the Soviet Union is gone, they mostly cares about getting assets on pennies per dollar (behaviour of criminals like Mr. Browder, whom McFaul loves so much, exemplifies such an attitude) and to lesser extent about Russia military capabilities, which are still a risk. Although I doubt that.

From the typical US behavior it looks like American politicians are not really interested in any other aspect of Russian situation, other then energy resources (Khodorkovsky is a new saint in the USA, probably for his failed attempt to sell Russia oil resources to US companies). And he is new puppet in the show of finding the possibilities of regime change and installing a puppet regime as they unsuccessfully tried in 2011-2012. They still miss Yeltsin drunk regime and Gaidar-Chubais neoliberal gang, which almost converted Russia into kleptocracy from which Putin tried gradually to extract it with great and not always successful efforts.

It all comes down to a set of cliché: Russia is corrupt (while in reality this is a immanent feature of all neoliberal regimes and first of all the USA, the most corrupt neoliberal regime in existence) , does not respect human rights (unlike Saudis) and does not play by the rules (unlike Libya rebels), is not democratic (unlike Qatar). Russia seems to them so weak and uninteresting, not worthy of a real partnership dialogue. And is arrogant enough not to agree with the status of vassal so she needs to be taken care of:

"To promote liberty requires first the containment and then the elimination of those forces opposed to liberty, be they individuals, movements, or regimes. " - M. McFaul, The Liberty Doctrine: Reclaiming the purpose of American power. Policy Review April & May 2002 The Liberty Doctrine Hoover Institution

Such an ungrateful jerks, who jailed Dick Cheney best friend Khodorkovsky, squeezed this perfectly honest guy, exemplary "the largest portfolio investor in Russia, British citizen William Browder" (Who, BTW, was the USA citizen until recently, but suddenly changed his mind) and so on and so forth. They should be "regime changed". It is like the relationship between schoolchildren, when a bully see a threat on the school yard and acts preemptively.

Very well orchestrated Russophobia campaign of Western MSM

The first thing that surprise me is a very well "coordinated" level of Russophobia demonstrated by Western MSM. The degree of Russophobia in Western press varies very little be it Guardian, or NYT, or BBC or WashPost. As financial oligarchy controls the MSM you can't expect anything different. They act as a pack of dogs. Typical level is treating Russian as forever damned barbarians. Slightly more advanced is treating Russia a legitimate playground for testing the controversial socio-economic doctrines like shock therapy and a land were any foreign crook is entitled to get rich fast (like Browder did ). But the essence is the same, no right for "national sovereignty", no right for any "special way". Those concepts are simply outside a typical Western press journalists "template" that their editors enforce.

As John Drury noted in his comment to U.S. Russia Withheld Intel on Boston Bomb Suspect - WSJ.com

Ridiculous comments populate the blogs, the op eds and the comment sections of most sites. But what unsettles me more is the rabid Russian phobia (call it "Russophobia") which populates the American press (liberal/conservative).

We never see things from the Russian side. It is always Putin who is up to no good, Vladimir, the monster, the balding fool with no shirt flexing his muscles. This is not the Cold War, yet we have not shed our Cold War biases.

See Propaganda and The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment for more information

Two types of Russophobes: "Russophobes by conviction" vs. "Russophobes for money"

Russophobia is a form of racism and studies of other forms of racism such as anti-Semitism are applicable here.

It is a prejudice against, hatred of, or discrimination against Russian people as an ethnic, religious, or racial group. In Baltic states it is close to regime of Apartheid. In Ukraine it has a form of suppression of Russian language and culture

Russophobes by conviction

I have an impression on the personal level sincere and acute Russophobia (not to be mixed with Russophobia as a official line ) can be a compensation mechanism (classic Adorno). I am not talking here about ideological prostitution typical for MSM journalists. But on individual level it looks like projection not that different from other national bigotry and the undisputable and provable fact is that the USA and, especially, Great Britain MSM serves as an "Incubator of hatred" toward Russia. Of course this also tells something very important about the US/GB governments.

I suspect that those who adopt Russophobia position not for money (let's call them "sincere Russophobes") have a personality of sectants/fanatics in a very deep sense of this word. Or like Eric Hoffer called them "True Believers" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_True_Believer).

For though ours is a godless age, it is the very opposite of irreligious. The true believer is everywhere on the march, and both by converting and antagonizing he is shaping the world in his own image. And whether we are to line up with him or against him, it is well that we should know all we can concerning his nature and potentialities.

In a way sincere Russophobe's are almost extinct minority (but still can be found among Ukrainian nationalists ;-).

Russophobes for money

There a legion of "Russophobes for money". People who are profiting personally from Russophobia nonsense they spew. This is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way. At best they are average with very few exceptions (Belkovski might be one exception). In a way we can view it as a survival tactic of people with mediocre talent in conditions of high competition. Similar displacement into obscure niches can be observed for mediocre people in other professions.

This "Russophobia for money" is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way.

"Russophobia for money" is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way.

Cold War II as an attempt to slow down the pace of Russia modernization and preserve it as an "oil drum" for the West

Cold War II is rooted not in Ukrainian event (The EuroMaydan coup d'état was organized by the USA and Western powers; Crimea was only a pretext) but is closely connected with the neocon attempts to slow down the pace of Russia modernization and secure Russia status as resource vassal of the USA. Here is a part of discussion from Kremlin Stooge that touch this theme in relation to Skolkovo techno-park.

kievite:
April 13, 2011 at 6:15 pm

This is a very apt comment and I wish that your observation comes true. But the problem is that as you :

"The forces arrayed against Russia are sufficiently formidable and sufficiently unrelenting "

First of all the West is rich enough to finance substantial fifth column, especially fifth column media (official $70 millions for support of NGO and "alternative" press is just a tip of iceberg). That’s the essence of neo-colonialism do nothing new here. Also a large part of elite is already linked to the West and is not interested in any confrontation. Nothing new here too.

So the discussion about what level of state capitalism is beneficial (or where Medvedev should stop with his "second liberalization") is complex and far from purely technical one. External forces should be taken into account and once in a while liberalization companies to placate the West are not completely bad idea no matter how you view neoliberalism: state capitalism requires periodic "purges" (Stalin well understood that) and "liberalization" and, especially "fight with corruption" provides perfect pretext for purges. If one looks at some Medvedev’s actions from this angle and you might well come to conclusion that it might be not complete sell-off but a more complex game.

In situation when you need to purge excesses of state capitalism West can serve as a natural ally and in such situation slogan of cat Leopold "Rebyata davayte zhit’ druzhno" (Let’s be friends) suddenly became politically viable at least among the pro-Western part of the elite. And the idea of periodic moving the pendulum from "higher statism" to "higher private enterprise support" in order to avoid stagnation, say, each seven-ten year period is not completely absurd. The main question is whether the process runs out of control or not.

Another possible contention point is that sooner of later oil flow will start diminishing and with it revenues will also start dropping. Currently there are too few industries that can replace the flow the oil dollars. Attempt to revitalize some of the existing heavy industries under the flag of liberalization, if done clever is not a bad idea.

And as much as everybody here hates neoliberalism it is very clear about who should be the victim and provides an ideological justification for cruel actions against own population. Like Bolshevism, it proved to be an extremely potent weapon of convincing population to act against their own economic interests (see What’s the matter with Kansas for details). Perfect tool for the brainwashing "peasants" if you wish, very important when "Pryanikov sladkih vsegna ne hvataet na vseh" (Okudzhava ).

marknesop
April 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm I believe the oil money will go on for some time yet. Current practices are sloppy and inefficient, and more oil could be realized with better, more modern techniques, as well as new discoveries coming online. However, an early start on overhauling general business practices would be time and money well spent.

Medvedev should draw a lesson from Skolkovo. This is a project he has personally sponsored and touted as Russia’s official debut in the high-tech sector. Western response, overall, has been withering and contemptuous, although some major commercial figures (such as Microsoft) have offered early investment optimism. Collective opinion seems to be that Russia will use the new tech city as a base from which to steal foreign technology secrets from investors, or that it will be a dismal failure because Russians have no real ideas of their own. The west is likely to greet other initiatives by Medvedev in the same manner – hearty laughter, followed by offers to come in and make western-style changes for him, in exchange for certain considerations.

kievite
April 14, 2011 at 1:21 am

Very true. Thanks for the response.

You are right: Skolkovo is fuzzy (what exactly is "high-tech") initiative as first of all Medvedev can’t abolish brain-drain and that what will happens with the most talented researchers. The only realistic bait he has is blocking the companies from entering Russian market unless they provide considerable degree of localization and require that some fraction of research be performed in such parks. That’s a variant of policy that China successfully used. But if Russia joins WTO, tariff barriers to protect domestic producers in vital sectors will be more difficult to erect.

At the same time autarky does not work either. So maneuvering between those Scylla of globalization and Charybdis of autarky requires top political skills from the captain of the ship.

Some sectors of Russian heavy industry already are proved abroad and products already have some competitive advantage and export markets. That’s where this comparative advantage needs to be preserved and enhanced with help of techno-parks. State subsidized R&D is really important here and can be provided via small university based local techno parks. This would an excellent employment opportunity for most talented students who otherwise might emigrate and such parks not necessary need any foreign participation. This is especially important if company is partially state owned, as this along with having reps at the board that protects the investment. OK, I would agree, that it’s not necessary need to be people on minister level. It would be sad if he really wants not to reform or improve, but to dismantle state capitalism.

The real problem here that without oil revenue Russia gets into zugzwang. Hopefully, as you noted, that will not be soon.

marknesop
April 14, 2011 at 3:30 am

Yes, you’re right about Skolkovo; I did a piece on it awhile back (here) and Chinese tech parks were cited as an example. It’s funny how the west is all gaga over China, and just brushes off the fact that China has a considerably more predatory business model than does Russia; China shamelessly raids the west for business information and constantly tests them for weaknesses which might be exploited. But, obtusely, it’s Russia that’s held up as the consummate corporate raider.

I believe if Russia were allowed to join the WTO, fewer barriers would be necessary. There’s no reason foreign companies shouldn’t have to contribute to the local economy, but they should receive tradeoffs as well such as low corporate tax rates, and that was one of the considerations. Medvedev seems determined that Skolkovo will succeed, while some elements in the west are just as determined it will be a failure. We’ll see. Russia is a world leader in medical research, and I understand that will be a big part of Skolkovo as well.

Does Russia represent an alternative to the neoliberal economic/social model?

It is difficult to say where Putin's brand of mixture of neoliberal and state capitalism get him and Russian people. I would say that the answer is "reserved no". Currently Russia, while opposing the US hegemony does not provide an alternative economic model. And that's the weakness of "Putinism".

Here is a left-biased, but still very interesting assessment of the situation along similar lines: "All attempts by Russia to develop a hypothetical line of response based on similar strategies (i.e. mobilizing a social response based on discontent) have no future, because Russia does not represent an alternative social model, not even in the realm of Illusion of Hope. " ([Oct 21, 2014] Question: Does Russia represent an alternative to the current western economic/social model? Or is this view an illusion based only on the conflict between some traditional vs. post-modern values?):

2014/10/19 | Sociología crítica

Danos tu opinión

Un amable lector de este blog ha realizado un resumen en inglés de nuestro artículo Las catedrales del kremlin y el capitalismo multipolar; es un resumen diferente al que nosotros hubiéramos hecho, pero de interés sin duda alguna. Ha sido publicado como apoyo a una pregunta en un coloquio con el economista ruso Mikhail Khazin organizado por The vineyard of the saker. Publicaremos aquí la respuesta.

Question: Does Russia represent an alternative to the current western economic/social model? Or is this view an illusion based only on the conflict between some traditional vs. post-modern values? / Arturo

For context to the question I will provide a translation / paraphrase / summary of some key points in the following article Las catedrales del kremlin y el capitalismo multipolar

The article contains and numbers many more points (36 in total) but I have translated/summarized only the first 14 (the rest is provided is a very raw translation --NNB)

  1. Moscow cannot defeat the American plans – i.e. the Anglo Zionist world elite – without contradicting the class interests of its own elites (Russian oligarchs): This is impossible because the system of sanctions and the blocking of access to their accounts and assets in the West generates such contradictions in the Russian power elites that, in practice, it prevents them from reacting adequately; it puts them on their knees before the America.
  2. Russia *could* resist those plans, since it possesses the strength, sense of identity, historical memory and material resources to do so. But in order to do so, its ruling elites would have to take measures that would affect their own class status within both the Russian system and the international system. And we can see that these are measures they are not willing to take. On the other hand, the Anglo Zionists suffer no such internal contradiction. Quite the opposite, in fact: Their own interest as the supporting base of the globalist hyperclass necessarily forces them to maintain the challenge to the end.
  3. By the term Anglo Zionists, in this analysis, we mean the dominant power group whose territorial and military base resides in the United States, and whose center originates in the historical and social links of the Anglo-American oligarchies, branching off to other historical central metropolis in Europe or other power centers in different parts of the world.
  4. The concept is made up of two elements that must be explained: the first, the “anglo” reference, has to do with the North American British connection [...] the second, the “zionist” reference, has to do with the interconnection among the economic and financial power groups that maintain various kinds of links with Israel. It is not so much a reference to ethnic origin, but rather to orientations as groups or lobbies of political and economic interests. A good part of this Zionist component consists of people who are neither Israelis nor Jews, but who feel identified with the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, Britain and other countries. Thus the term “zionist” referees here to an ideology, not to an ethnic origin.
  5. The Anglo elites on both sides of the Atlantic have evolved from being national elites to being the executive base of a world Hyperclass made up of individuals capable of exerting a determining influence in the most powerful nation, the United States.
  6. The result of the Anglo Zionist line of attack is that the contradiction and internal struggle is now occurring in Moscow between those who have already chosen to sell out and those who have not yet found the time to realize that a multipolar global capitalism is not viable.
  7. In this context, recovering Crimea was a mirage, an illusion.
  8. If we compare the implications of the Maidan coup in Kiev with the liberation of Crimea, we see that the strategic defeat implicit in losing Ukraine as an ally is of such magnitude that everything else pales by co s (all of them) in Kiev was so gigantic that its implications are frightening. It was either a failure or something even worse. In any case, the Crimea affair was merely a small episode in a confrontation that Russia is losing.
  9. Russia arrived very late at modern capitalism, and that is why its current elite will be unable to occupy a space among the globalist elite without paying the necessary toll, which is none other than renouncing its territorial power base – its country and its access to and control of its energy resources and raw materials.
  10. Stubbornly maintaining the dispute in trying to obtain a multi-polar capitalism, leads necessarily to a intra-capitalist confrontation, as it did in 1914-1918. And because of the nature of the current actors, nuclear powers … it brings the conflict to 2.0 war versions (color revolutions)
  11. All attempts by Russia to develop a hypothetical line of response based on similar strategies (i.e. mobilizing a social response based on discontent) have no future, because Russia does not represent an alternative social model, not even in the realm of Illusion of Hope. It can only elicit some empathy from those who reject the American domination, but here the class contradictions come into play again, because it is not enough to oppose Washington merely on political-military grounds, since the key to global power resides in the financial and military structures that enable global control and plunder: World Trade Organization, IMF, Free Trade agreements, World Bank, NATO… these are entities in relation to which Russia only shows its displeasure at not being invited to the table as an equal, not accepting that because it arrived late at modern capitalism, it must play a secondary role. On the other hand, Russia is ignoring the deep contempt, bordering on racism, that things Slavic generate among Anglo Zionist elites.
  12. In order to be able to fight the 2.0 versions of war that are engineered today, an alternative social model is needed. Alternative not only in regard to the postmodern vs. traditional sets of values, but fundamentally in regard to the social model that stems from the modes of production. In the postmodern vs. traditional conflict, Russia tends to align with the most reactionary values. And in regard to the social struggle, they don’t want to enter that fray because they renounced it long ago. They renounced the entire Soviet Union, which they destroyed from within.
  13. The contradictions and the dialectical nature of reality have their own logic, however. Thus, a coup in Kiev and the widespread appearance of Nazi symbols in the streets of Ukraine was all that it took to induce a spontaneous reaction in the Slavic world. The popular resistance in the Donbass took strong root thanks to the historic memory of the people’s of the old USSR and its war against fascism.
  14. If Russia were to abandon Novorossia to the oligarchs and their mafias, the world’s “left” – or whatever remains of it — would come to scorn post-Soviet Russia even more than it already does. In the months following the brave action in Crimea and the heroic resistance in the Donbass, many people around the world looked to Moscow in search of some sign that it would support the anti-fascist and anti-oligarchic resistance, even if only as an act of self-defense by Moscow against the globalist challenge. If it finally abandons Novorossia, the price in terms of loss of moral prestige will be absolute.
  15. A support of the left has not been sought, but that is a collateral consequence of the character of class struggle open that has been given in the Donbas, where Russia has been forced to provide some assistance that would prevent the genocide at the hands of the fascist Ukrainian.
  16. Cuando say left, we refer logically to the one who has expressed their support to the struggle of people in the Donbas, as it is very difficult to consider the "left" to those who have preferred to remain silent or to have directly been complicit in the assault, and the coup in Kiev.
  17. The degradation of the left as politically active social force is very intense, their structures are embroiled in the collapse, or in the confusion, when not literally corrupt. Then related to both socialist parties since 1914 and the communists, at least from the time of fracture of 1956. The social changes experienced in Europe with the systems of welfare state, based on the elevation of the standard of living of the working population and the obtaining of social peace by sharing the power with the trade unions are at the base of the post-industrial society and the resulting profound changes of values.

    The suicide of the USSR in 1989-93 marked a brutal global change , in which the balance which was preserved during the cold war was broken. That led to the capitalist elite in the west, which we are calling the Anglo-Zionists, to the suspension of the social pact (forced abandonment of New Deal), that gave rise to the welfare state and the emergence stark reality of a global power of capitalists without systemic opposition . Today the whole neoliberal globalization system of capitalism is in danger by the depletion of the natural resources. And to sustain this mode of production, they need to speed up territorial domination in the form of control and access to resources of other countries. Now there no space in the global system for spaces, which are managed autonomously even to a certain level.

  18. The system of global domination, capitalism, ruling elites with a territorial basis in the area of Anglo-American, global parasitic Hyperclass and depletion of resources, as well as cannibalization of the other nations, in the midst of troika of crisis of climate change, peak of the energy and raw materials shortages. those three factors that challenge the current globalization framework ... And the crisis of Novorossia, been demonstrated both impotence and the lack of real political autonomy of Russian elite with the respect to the dominant power in neoliberal worlds order..
  19. The new citizen movements in the western world are not so much resistance movements as samples of the discontent of the middle classes in precarious position of marginalization and/or social trance. This protest led to a "Maidans" which are not permanent and does not question the basis of the system. The participants seems to believe that it is possible to restore the old good world of the welfare state.
  20. The western movements are brainwashed by messages emanating from the headquarters of Democratic party of North America, the propaganda anarcho-capitalist and the various networks of ideological interference, are managing to break the bonds of historical memory that unite the struggles of the past with the present, de-ideologize the struggles and conflicts and to deny the tension left and right, isolating the militants -- or simple citizens who feel identified with the values of the left - of the masses who are suffering in the first place casualisation. At the heart of this new "left" are leaders that are co-opted voices, pseudo-intellectuals who destroy the words and empty of content of key concepts in a way that the alienation of the masses demonstrate at the language itself, thus preventing putting a real name to social process and things, and to identify the social phenomena.
  21. Viva to Russia, which the only country which eve in a weak form decided to fight neoliberal world order and position itself as an anti-imperialist force... It is interesting to observe the current great moral confusion in political landscape of the societies in decay. Confusion which have been stimulated by Moscow actions. As the result some the far-right groups that are simultaneously anti-US that anti-Russian now support Moscow. Also some part of Russia far-right political groups got the sympathy and support of factions of the anti EU far right forces in France, the Nazis of the MSR in Spain, and from small groups of euro-asianists. This line of political affiliation will allow them to simply join the Russia failure [to find alternative to monopolar neoliberal capitalism] and might well discredit then more profoundly in the future.
  22. The euro-asianists forces technically speaking are reactionary forces, neoliberal forces which is comparable to the worst of the worst in the western world. Moreover, they do not have any way to solve the main contradictions that arise in the current neoliberal model in the terms of class and dominance of Anglo Zionist global elite.
  23. Euro-Asianism is just a suitable ideology for the construction of Russian national idea for those who seeks to achieve lease to life for Russia sovereignty on the world stage. It is the actual proof that Russia has come too late to globalised capitalism and fascism...
  24. Huttington and his war of civilizations cynically exploit this confrontation on Anglo Zionist elite and newcomers, redefining it along the idea of the clash of civilizations which avoid using the notion of class and thus is ideologically false. Alexander Duguin who promote similar ideas quite seriously just shows the degree of degeneration of the Russian intelligentsia, which oscillates between serving as comprador class to the global Anglo Zionist elite and the repetition (as a farce, and with 75 years of delay ) of fascist reactionary revolutions in Western Europe, which were phenomenon of the interwar period (rexistas in Belgium, Croix de feu in France, CruzFlechados in Hungary, Requetés and Falangistas in Spain).
  25. The globalist elite offered a solution formulated in class terms, as it could not be another way: in the best cases, they proposes the co-optation to a handful of members of the Russian elite as deserving members of the new global Hyperclass, but this path is opened only the very very rich, and the pre-condition is the delivery of the country to plunder, where the global elite certainly would have need of some compradors which will be more or less adequately compensated depending on their achievements and sacrifices in the name of global neoliberal domination.
  26. The part of the power elite of Russia, which managed to expel the western compradors of the Yeltsin era, and rein in the oligarchs then, had tried with some success to regain control of the territory of the country. The illusion of the members of this part of the power elite -- basically the security services, both civil and military, and various synergies of those with the military-industrial lobby -- is that it would be enough to neutralize the Russian fifth column of the Anglo Zionists to take back control of their territorial base of power. this idea is going to be shredded into pieces when it enter into contradiction with the reality of the class struggle and interests of the elite at the global level. Russia is, for its size, influence, and resources, so huge that a line of action based on the defense of its sovereignty strategic enters in collision with the global power of neoliberalism. And that why it attracts disproportional reaction of the Anglo Zionists
  27. Supporters of Anglo Zionists that are ready to consent to a German-Russian alliance or Russia-EU alliance that give the viability of a idea of mutually beneficial co-development of both Russia and Europe are forgetting that such an action would require European sovereignty. Which is was non-existent iether on the level of the EU, or on the level of member states. The penetration of the Atlantism in Europe is already systemic. In the old European states there are still ancient national traditions, which were based on the basis of cultural, industrial, economic, and political identity. And they still run strong. But in the current situation for such states there no space for the sovereignty as the dominant power bloc in the national elite as well as in EU elite are Atlantists. Where this situation takes the Russian elite and the Russian state without confrontation? A confrontation that they, on the other hand are not willing and are not able to pursue.
  28. The multi-polar capitalist world had its lifespan which come to an end (exploded) in 1914. In 2014, the globalization of the elites and the capital is of such magnitude that no serious resistance is possible on the basis of some capitalist model. In those conditions the idea of Russian elite ability to enforce change to multipolar version of the currently monopolar neoliberal world is doomed to be a failure.
  29. Zbigniew Brezinsky has raised things crudely and openly, unlike the ("fake") supporters of perestroika, and their current heirs in Russia. Brezinsky know how to think in terms of the class contradiction and knows perfectly well that the Russian oligarchy has directed its monetary flows abroad, moved families abroad, and moved their investments abroad. That means that Anglo Zionists can disrupt any claim of sovereignty over the territory and resources by simply pressing the local neoliberal elite, giving them to choose between their interests as a class and their illusionary desire for sovereignty. Because in a globalized world, with its brutal fight for the natural resources there is no possibility of maintaining both, except what can be achieved in terms of direct anti-imperialist struggle. There is no space for the national bourgeoisies in the XXI century. You can only have sovereignty if it is posed in terms of a rupture with the actually existing neoliberal order of global capitalism, which, in its core is Anglo Zionists globalization. This break does not have to be forced, but in terms of scientific analysis of the social processes is a logical consequence of following this path one way or the other. To claim sovereignty over their own resources and territory inevitably leads to confrontation, and logical needs a break up and confront the Anglo Zionist empire. If you really want to achieve the goal. And that fact imposes the logic of the relationships and balance of power in the world today.
  30. The claims of the BRIC countries -- to the extent that you do not question them -- is that they have an alternative model to the dominant neoliberal capitalism model (Ango Zionist globalization with the center in the USA) are doomed to be a failure. The efforts of the BRIC countries can generate a lot of noise and discomfort for the West, but they can not break the global neoliberal system. Those countries are rightfully fearful of their budget balances -- which are very fragile. It can be even said that they are on their way to implosion sooner or later, due to the unbalanced structure of their internal classes, including first of all their own elite.
  31. The claim that it is possible to achieve the multipolar capitalist world (which Russia defends) and which led to current Ukrainian crisis without confrontation is false. As soon as Russia wanted to return to the global chessboard. as an independent player, they instantly saw opponents attacking weak elements of their defense at the borders. Ukraine has been a defeat for Russia and the Crimea is not a adequate compensation for loss of Ukraine. Now Novorossia is being sacrificed precisely because the class contradictions that have emerged in Moscow and lack of desire of Russian elite to go the bitter end.
  32. The situation in the Donbas / Novorossia clearly shows the resignation of Moscow to the victory, and their desire to avoid the clash with neoliberal world order. The fact is that Royal Dutch Shell has already begun the fracking in the Donbas, the coup regime in Kiev are already internationally accepted without reservations, the truce imposed in Novorossia has brought to its knees the armed resistance to junta. All this leads way to deliver Novorossia to the hands of mafias sponsored by the local oligarchs with friends in Kiev and Moscow.
  33. Statement that the destiny of Russia was played in the Donbas is something more than a phrase, It is a claim based on a reality, as the defeat of Novorossia would be the proof that Moscow had not the will to struggle. The betrayal of the fighters and the hopes of Novorossia is the acceptance of the defeat and might lead in the future to the victory to the Moscow Maidan, the same alliance of compradors and nationalists using which as storm troopers the globalist elite achieved their goal in Ukraine. If Novorossia is defeated, they can expect being able to push a puppet into the Kremlin the same way. And not without reason. This summer, the heroic struggle of the militia of the Donbas was the key element that forced the changes of the script designed for Kiev as well as diminished chances of successful application of the same methods in Moscow. The Minsk Agreements and the truce imposed by them are putting Novorossia on its knees, allowing for its destruction, but this time at the hands of their allies. Sad spectacle for the Russian security services, which were effective enough to organize the Donbas resistance, but now are useless and powerless before the neofascist Kiev junta.
  34. The struggle of the Donbas does not correspond to the strategic interests of the Russian elite. They have been forced to intervene to prevent the horror of the mass murder of the population of the Donbas at the hands of the extreme right. But the dream of a Donbas free of oligarchs and with a sovereign state, committed to social justice for workers on this Slavic land are completely incompatible with the post-soviet status quo. Only to the extent that there is a significant faction of Russian elite aware of the contradictions of the global neoliberal game and who put their sense of patriotism first can lead them to face the challenge that they face. Only in this case there would be any possibility of resistance; I would say patriotic resistance, because we already know no one at the top is able to think in terms of class.
  35. While very unlikely - there can be a move from February to October in Novorossia. You would say impossible. But he insurrection of the Donbas in March, logically was "February". In order to achieve victory, to take full control over the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk needs creation of the Revolutionary Military Council and suspension of the upcoming elections. which looking to be a smokescreen for capitulation to junta. They need to declare that they are ready to resist to the end. This output would be desperate move, without a doubt, and would represent the equivalent of a new "October". The event which of it occurs would force Moscow to show their cards to their own population. And perhaps it can help to generate a pulse necessary for the organization of the fight with Anglo Zionists empire between the towers of the Kremlin. That would move the fight toward more patriotic and popular goals, But this presuppose a lot of assumptions and first of all that such a "Kremlin tower", which is capable of emitted such a pulse, exists. Only in this case we can talk about achieving a real sovereignty. As Vasily Záitsev in Stalingrad suggested: "Maybe we're doomed, but for the moment we are still the masters and lords of our land." In Novorossia there are plenty of fighters who would agree with Záitsev, but they certainly lack political direction and, now the lack the support of Kremlin.
  36. The Russian objective is achieving a multipolar capitalism with a Russia united under a nationalist ideology based on the manipulation of patriotic sentiment, Orthodoxy and various Slavic myths. This objective is being challenged by the reality of the conflict, which should be defined in terms of geopolitical goals. The reality is that the Russian elite would be allowed to control their population as they wish, provided they renounce its sovereignty over territory and resources, renounce their physical power base, i.e. homeland. This is the nature of the challenge. Putin is mistaken if he thinks that the Grand Patriarch has the answer in their holy books. There is not enough incense in the Kremlin cathedrals to mask that reality.”

Demonization of Putin as part of Russophobia

The Demonization of Putin is Not a Policy.
It is an Alibi for the Absence of One

Henry Kissinger

Now let's discuss attempts to demonize Putin by Western MSM. They can be understood only in context of rabid Russophobia of US neocons and their poodles in GB and other Western countries (especially in Germany).

Being tactful of Putin is one thing that I would not criticize the US press for ;-). If only because the track record disqualify them from lecturing, but because one simple fact: I remember how they covered the Chechen disaster and how they covered Iraq invasion by the USA. I strongly dislike Chechen war, as do most Russians. However, it is true that Chechen fundamentalists financed by Saudis have killed hundreds of Caucasian and Russian civilians and were a real threat to the Russian society, whereas the Iraqis were no practical threat to the USA.

Another problem with demonizing Putin is that no one in the US political system is willing to criticize the policies of Boris Yeltsin, which ruined the majority of Russian people, falsified elections and included criminals in his inner circle under close guidance of the USA. Sometime it looks to me that the real Axis of Evil runs somewhere between K Street and Constitution Avenue.

And in addition most of US neocons who dominated the USA foreign policy establishment sincerely consider themselves the only game in town. While understanding very little, or absolutely nothing about other countries. And that is statement is equally applicable to neocons dominated MSM such as NYT and Wash Post. American exeptionalism is uniquely blinding phenomenon.

It is actually pretty sad to read the infinite low of articles written without any desire to understand the complex situation in modern Russia. Neocons analytics in regard to Russia is nauseating propaganda. The logic behind such articles is invariably hostile. Moscow either weak or repressive or both. If Moscow sees some processes as a threat, it is racist, if it just lets it happen, it is weak.

No good solution for Russia ever exists according to these people. And it would be better for Russia and the rest of the world if it disappears from the face of Earth as quickly as possible.

See Demonization of Putin for more details.

Apartheid regime in Baltic countries as part of Russophobia campaign launched after dissolution of the USSR

Another influential part of world Russophobic community are Apartheid regimes established in Baltic countries with the direct help of the USA government and, especially, USA emigrant organizations. Western Ukraine also fit this scenario (after EuroMaidan putsch Western Ukrainian when far right nationalists came to power).

Baltic countries refuse to provide citizenship to people of different ethnicity who lawfully lived in them during the USSR period (which lasted half a century or so). Here is an insightful take on Russophobia from veteran Novosty journalist by Pyotr Romanov

A Dispassionate View on Russophobia

10/04/2006

Ability to write about Russophobia dispassionately is similar to the ability to maintain dignity when somebody unexpectedly poor a dirty water all over your head. However, as far as possible, try to talk about this phenomenon, no offense. We will not resent the fact that the "Russian, according to British press - the most stupid in the world." Smile at the argument that the "war against Napoleon won the non-Russian, and lice." We will not discuss with the Japanese man in the street, which feels an antipathy to us, among other things because all the cold storms come on the street it from Russia.

Forget about the Finns, who, according to Western opinion polls, do not love us more than any foreigners. And this at a time when, according to domestic opinion polls, that the Finns have the highest Russian sympathies.

What to do: love evil. In short, keep yourself in hand. It is better to remember the words of George Nathaniel Curzon Marquis, Viceroy of India and at the time the British Foreign Minister: "Every Englishman comes to Russia as Russophobe, and left as a Russophile" This means that in the basis of antipathy towards the Russian lies ignorance and myths. Partly born of life itself, partly by skillful professionals employed by our political opponents: there is such a thing as information warfare. And this is not limited to the Soviet period, but can be traced since ancient times. The disappearance of the Soviet Union did not affect Russophobia much. "New Thinking", which Gorbachev dreamed about never materialized. There is also historical memory. If we talk about ethnophobias, this is an inexhaustible source of poisoned water.

We can present many additional examples, but even from what has been said above, it is clear that the problem is multifaceted and so deeply ingrained in the mind of a typical Western person (to say nothing about establishment -- NNB) that for Russians it is better to forget about an illusion that it can be cured or even drastically changed. Each countermeasure is only a palliative solution.

Thus we should not deceive ourselves - any countermeasure is only palliative. Russophobia glow can be reduced, but to end it might be impossible as is the case with other ethnophoibias.

However, even to lower the level of Russophobia is a difficult undertaking which requires considerable intellectual efforts and financial investments. In addition, the Russian professionals in the field of foreign media (or propaganda, sorry for such old-fashioned word) are long time already listed in the "red book". After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the new government decided that the professionals who know how to work with foreign media are no longer needed, everything will be done automatically: our friends Bill and Helmut will help. In extreme cases, retired professionals can be without problems replaced by the young and energetic sneakers merchants. It did not happen. Meanwhile, the bad image of Russia means for the country significant economic and political losses.

When it comes to Russophobia, the questions usually turns out to be a surplus, but the answers, even the most sophisticated, almost always may be subject to reasoned criticism. This is further evidence of the complexity and ambiguity of the problem. For example, surveys carried out by foreigners, record that in recent years the attitude to the Russian in almost all countries around the world deteriorated. It would seem that there is nothing to rejoice, meanwhile, history has repeatedly argued that a weakened Russia is far less negative feelings abroad than Russia on the path to recovery, when she, like Phoenix, once again rises from the ashes. Thus, the sharp deterioration of perceptions of Russia by foreigners can simultaneously be a sign that Moscow is perusing a wrong policy, and, conversely, that is peruse absolutely correct policy. It is difficult to sort out.

By the way, if we were talking about the West here, it is curious to see how the West steps for many centuries on the same rake. Whenever Russia is experiencing the most difficult times, Western politicians, believing Russia is close to death, begin to seriously talk about her vivisection, and, conversely, when the "deceased" Russia suddenly opens his eyes, the West falls into mortal fear and hysteria. So it was during the Troubled Times, when the Poles, Swedes and British tried to split Russian lands apart. Under Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, when Russia was still weakened Western Europe for the sake of preserving peace in its own backyard identified zones of expansion of the major European powers: our motherland, according to this "peace plan", was granted to the Swedes. The only thing that did not consider the German philosopher, mathematician, lawyer and theologian, Gottfried Leibniz -- the author of this ingenious plan -- the birth of Peter the Great. By the end of the reign of Peter Sweden ceased to be a great power, Russia become an empire, and a Russian soldier, frightened Europe to such hiccups, from which it can not escape for a long time.

Then there was the defeat in the Crimean War, which, as it seemed to many European politicians, forever cemented lag Russian from the outside world, but came to the liberal reforms of Alexander II, who once again raised Russia from its knees. Later there was a First World, revolution, civil war, and those event immediately generated Churchill plan to put an end to Russia once and forever, dismembering her to pieces. And this project also ended in failure, but instead came back scared the West Europeans almost to death, the Soviet Union.

Finally, the collapse of the USSR has created new hopes, and the emergence of a Russian helm of Putin produced a new disappointment: hatred intermixed with fear. Here are typical in the West, the view expressed by one of the Italian journalists: "The USSR is considered a country, lost forever. The recent emergence of Russia as a nation state was a bolt from the sky. " And that's madam did not know yet what order book of Russian defense enterprises in the past year increased by 61%, as recently reported by Russian President. Thunder would be simply deafening.

In short, we are dealing with a déjà vu all over gain: the same way foreign press treated Russia in Europe and after the Troubled Times and after the Crimean War, and after the Revolution of 1917 .

Of course, the fact that due to the fear of Russian bear whose jaws are in Europe, and the tail is located in the Far East, simultaneously flourish Russophobia, does not make Russians happy. But I personally, if we have to choose, prefer to have a strong Russia with a undesirable side effect in the form of Russophobia, than the Russian bear's skin over the fireplace in some western office, which the owner, proudly showing visitors, affectionately scratching behind his ear. Without experiencing any of Russophobia!

Are there any tools that would provide the West at least a middle ground between a pathological fear of Russian and not less pathological contempt for her? I think it is. All I will not enumerate them all. But one thing worth mentioning is mandatory. Necessary, finally, once and for all clear the historic debris, which is really to blame Russian. We can remember, say, Russian-Polish friction because of Katyn. The fact that Stalin's regime committed a crime, we know the whole world, but Russia, including the modern Russia, could not find the courage to tell the whole truth about the Polish tragedy. If you want to, once again apologize, and most importantly to pass, finally, Warsaw, all at our disposal documents. In the end, there are still living relatives of the victims, who have every right to know how their relatives died. Why this is not done until now, I can not understand, especially because the crime is committed not this generation, but fundamentally different, the Stalinist regime.

At the same time, giving the necessary debt, in my opinion, in any case we can not forget about our own claims. Unlike its neighbors, we all too easy to forgive, but it does not promote respect for Russia. Yes, there was Katyn. But until it was no less terrible fate of the Russian prisoners who fell into the hands of the Poles after the failure of the famous Tukhachevsky offensive of Warsaw. There are undeniable evidence how they treated those prisoners, both in Russia and the West. Division of assistance to POW in Poland of the American Union of Christian youth on October 20, 1920 noted that the Russian prisoners were kept in deplorable conditions: indoors, totally unsuitable for housing, with no furniture, sleeping aids, and most importantly - no glass in the windows, despite the cold. In the prisoners had no shoes, clothing, medicines, not enough medical personnel, food. All of the above, conclude U.S. observers, leads "to the rapid extinction of prisoners of war." Really dying by the thousands. No wonder the Lviv newspaper "Forward" December 22, 1920 calls Tuchola camp a "death camp". Thus, Katyn and Tuchola stand side by side. And it is necessary to treat this and ask the Poles of repentance for the brutal treatment of Russian. By the way, we should not have any illusion. About the same barbaric way the Red Army prisoners of war were treated, Baltic states treated the White Army Yudenich forces which retreat to their land. They allowed to passed then through the border in small groups, then confiscated all the weapon, after another mile all the valuables, and then clothes. So they beat is on the based on ideology but simply because they were Russians. Defending our ancestors who were subjected to abuse, we are seeking not only justice but also of self-respect. Man, do not mindful of kinship, respect is not deserved.

However, even if it has been said above about Russophobia, only a small drop in the cap or a smallest piece of a huge iceberg.

In addition, there is still the main problem, without deal with which all the fighting Russophobia is meaningless. This problem is ourselves: our standard of living, our culture, the development of our civil society, our internal and foreign policy, our military and economic power. Weak are always subject to humiliation: that is, unfortunately, human nature.

Any countermeasures -- although without them it situation might get worse -- no matter how sophisticated and skilled as they are, still no substitute for that, I'm talking about. So, first of all, to deal with all of us Russophobia requires a healthy and strong Russia. The fact that in this country and to live pleasantly, of course.

The old wisdom says, to be respected around, start to start to respect himself - a thing that you have created with their own hands.

And there, staring, reconsider their views on the Russian, even touchy Finns.

Coverage of Russia in Western MSMs resembles war propaganda

The Western media even before the Ukrainian Maidan was broadcast events in Russia exclusively in a negative way. Attempts are being made to discredit almost all Russian initiatives and projects, ranging from the Olympics to the elections of the President, etc. For the implementation of anti-Russian propaganda standard techniques of "projection" polished in color revolutions were used. That includes activization via NGOs of the opposition media and opposition figures within the country. The set of  "prisoners of conscience" was created from   academics, businessmen and politicians, who, for various reasons, wished to leave Russia for the West. Corrupt businessmen, who escaped to the West to avoid prosecution in Russia became prisoner of conscience and political oppositionist on the moment they cross the border. Anti-Russian propaganda aims in stressing civilizational, cultural, intellectual backwardness of Russia compared "advanced and enlightened" West.

The purpose of this propaganda "strangulation" of Russia is instituting "regime change" and bring to power the second generation of compradors. As well as further dismemberment of its territory. Some forms on internal conflict are supported as a part of destabilization strategy. With the ultimate goal of second partitioning of Russia and the emergence of new quasi-independent States.

To understand the coverage of Russia in western MSM one needs to understand the mechanisms of war propaganda. The latter is guided by the following postulates well known since the WWI (Falsehood in War-Time):

1. We do not want war.
2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war.
3. The enemy is the face of the devil.
4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest.
5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary.
6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons.
7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous.
8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause.
9. Our cause is sacred. "The ages-old 'God bless America' is playing once more."
10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors.

This topic is discussed in more details elsewhere, but a good starting point is the book Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1965/1973) by French philosopher, theologian, legal scholar, and sociologist Jacques Ellul. This book was one the first attempt to study propaganda from a sociological approach as well as a psychological one. It presents a taxonomy for propaganda methods, including such paired opposites as

During World War II, Ellul was a leader in the French resistance after being discharged as a professor from French universities by the Vichy regime. After France's liberation, he became professor at the University of Bordeaux. He authored 58 books and numerous articles over his lifetime, the dominant theme of which has been the threat to human freedom created by modern technology. In 1947, Ellul was appointed chair of law and social history at the Institut d'études politiques that increased his reputation as a social and political philosopher which led to the publication of his works in the United States. Here is an abridged Wikipedia summary:

Background of propaganda attacks against Russia

...."The Institute for Propaganda Analysis, inspired by Harold Lasswell" defined propaganda as "the expression of opinions or actions carried out deliberately by individuals or groups with a view to influencing the opinions or actions of other individuals or groups for predetermined ends and through psychological manipulations".[3]

This definition seemed more accurate and was supported by others such as Goebbels, a German propagandist, who stated, "We do not talk to say something, but to obtain a certain effect."[ Similarly F.C. Bartlett holds an accurate interpretation of the goal of propaganda as not merely as an instrument to increase political understanding of events, but to obtain results through action. Ellul supports the idea that propaganda is made primarily because of a will to action for the purpose of effectively arming policy made by the State. Leonard Doob, an American specialist, defined propaganda in 1948 as "the attempt to affect the personalities and to control the behavior of individuals towards desired ends."

Unending definitions show the uncertainty among specialists and the inability of definitions to encompass all that is propaganda. Just because the term propaganda cannot be defined with any degree of precision does not mean that attempts to define it should be abandoned.

"Very frequently propaganda is describe as a manipulation for the purpose of changing idea or opinions of making individuals 'believe' some idea or fact, and finally of making them adhere to some doctrine—all matters of the mind. It tries to convince, to bring about a decision, to create a firm adherence to some truth. This is a completely wrong line of thinking: to view propaganda as still being what it was in 1850 is to cling to an obsolete concept of man and of the means to influence him; it is to condemn oneself to understand nothing about propaganda. The aim of modern propaganda is no longer to modify ideas, but to provoke action. It is no longer to change adherence to a doctrine, but to make the individual cling irrationally to a process of action. It is no longer to transform an opinion but to arouse an active and mythical belief."

...He holds that the main concern of propaganda through psychological influence is sparking action to a desired response by developing learned attitudes. ....

Summary of chapters

Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes is divided into five substantive chapters discussing Ellul’s analysis. Introduction

Regardless of the State, propaganda should be viewed as situated at the center of the growing powers of governmental and administrative techniques.

"Differences in political regimes matter little; differences in social levels are more important; and most important is national self-awareness. Propaganda is a good deal less the political weapon of a regime (it is that also) than the effect of a technological society that embraces the entire man and tends to be a completely integrated society. Propaganda stops man from feeling that things in society are oppressive and persuades him to submit with good grace."[7] Chapter One: Characteristics of Propaganda

Modern propaganda is a technique that requires an analysis of both environment and individual to be subjected to propaganda therefore it is based on scientific analyses of psychology and sociology. Sufficient understanding of these two areas creates the most effective propaganda and without the scientific research of modern psychology and sociology there would be no propaganda. "Step by step the propagandist builds the techniques on the basis of his knowledge of man, his tendencies, his desires, his needs, his psychic mechanisms, his conditioning, and as much on social psychology as on depth psychology."[8] 1.Part One: External Characteristics

Propaganda is first and foremost concerned with influencing an individual psychologically by creating convictions and compliance through imperceptible techniques that are effective only by continuous repetition. Propaganda employs encirclement on the individual by trying to surround man by all possible routes, in the realm of feelings as well as ideas, by playing on his will or his needs through his conscious and his unconscious, and by assailing him in both his private and his public life.[9] The propagandist also acknowledges the most favorable moment to influence man is when an individual is caught up in the masses. Propaganda must be total in that utilizes all forms of media to draw the individual into the net of propaganda. Propaganda is designed to be continuous within the individual's life by filling the citizen’s entire day. It is based on slow constant impregnation that functions over a long period of time exceeding the individual’s capacities for attention or adaptation and thus his capabilities of resistance. In order for propaganda to maintain encirclement, it must be exerted by an organization capable of influencing psychological channels that reach the individual. Psychological and physical actions are inseparable elements to propaganda, however, if no influence is exerted by an organization than there can be no propaganda because it cannot operate in a vacuum. The necessity for a physical organization limits propaganda enterprises and in order to be effective propaganda must work inside a group, principally inside a nation. Propaganda must first organize the masses in order to propagandize within the masses. In general, propaganda is a set of methods employed by an organized group that wants to bring about the active or passive participation in its actions of a mass of individuals, psychologically unified through psychological manipulations and incorporated into an organization.[10] Propaganda should no longer be viewed in terms of an orthodoxy but rather modern propaganda should be seen as an orthopraxy because it aims for participation not adherence. Participation can be active or passive: active if propaganda has been able to mobilize the individual for action; passive if the individual does not act directly but psychologically supports that action. 2. Part Two: Internal Characteristics The second major element that a propagandist must understand is the environment in which the individual operates, mainly the foci of interest of the public. An understanding of the conventional patterns and stereotypes that pre-exist in a milieu provide the propagandist with material from which to build off. Propaganda is not able to create something out of nothing and is confined to developing pre-existing material thereby expressing the fundamental currents of the society it seeks to influence. These currents include accepted structures such as collective sociological presuppositions and myths that are fundamental to society.

"The Four Great Collective Sociological Presuppositions in the Modern World: 1.That an individual's aim in life is happiness. 2.That man is naturally good. 3.That history develops in endless progress. 4.That everything is matter.

The Collective Myths: 1.of Work 2.of Happiness 3.of the Nation 4.of Youth 5.of the Hero"[11]

These currents reinforce socieand hold man’s mjor convictions and propa ganda must voice this reality. Propaganda is concerned with timeliness since an individual is only moved to action if he is pushed towards a timely one by propaganda. Once it becomes history it inevitably becomes neutral and indifferent to the individual who is sensitive primarily to current news. "Operational words" are used to penetrate an individual’s indifference. However they lose their value as immediacy passes as old facts are replaced by new ones. The "current events man" is carried along the current of news and caught in the events of today, losing interest in the events of yesterday. The indifferent are apolitical and without opinion, therefore they are outside of propaganda’s grasp. Incidentally, there are also the undecided, people whose opinions are vague, who form the majority of citizens within the collective. These citizens are the most susceptible to control of public opinion that is dictated by propaganda. Lastly, this part discusses propaganda and truth or the ability of propaganda to relay something as true based not on the accuracy of facts but of reality. Propaganda veils the truth with falsehoods even though lying is generally to be avoided. 3. Part Three: Categories of Propaganda Presented in this chapter is a sophisticated taxonomy for propaganda, including such paired opposites as political-sociological, vertical-horizontal, rational-irrational, and agitation-integration.

Political vs. Sociological Propaganda:

Political Propaganda involves techniques of influence employed by a government, a party, an administration, or a pressure group with the intention of changing the behavior of the public. The themes and objectives of this type of propaganda are of a political nature. The goals are determined by the government, party, administration, or pressure group. The methods of political propaganda are calculated in a precise manner and its main criteria is to disseminate an ideology for the very purpose of making various political acts acceptable to the people.[12] There are two forms of political propaganda, tactical and strategic. Tactical political propaganda seeks to obtain immediate results within a given framework. Strategic political propaganda is not concerned with speed but rather it establishes the general line, the array of arguments, and the staging of campaigns.

Political propaganda reversed is sociological propaganda because the ideology is penetrated by means of its sociological context. Propaganda, as it is traditionally known, implies an attempt to spread an ideology through the mass media of communication in order to lead the public to a desired action. In sociological propaganda even media that are not controllable such as individual art work, films, and writing reflect the ideology allowing for an accelerated penetration of the masses and the individuals within them.[13]

Sociological propaganda is a phenomenon where a society seeks to integrate the maximum number of individuals into itself by unifying its members’ behavior according to a pattern, spreading its style of life abroad, and thus imposing itself on other groups. Essentially sociological propaganda aims to increase conformity with the environment that is of a collective nature by developing compliance with or defense of the established order through long term penetration and progressive adaptation by using all social currents. The propaganda element is the way of life with which the individual is permeated and then the individual begins to express it in film, writing, or art without realizing it. This involuntary behavior creates an expansion of society through advertising, the movies, education, and magazines. "The entire group, consciously or not, expresses itself in this fashion; and to indicate, secondly that its influence aims much more at an entire style of life."[14] This type of propaganda is not deliberate but springs up spontaneously or unwittingly within a culture or nation. This propaganda reinforces the individual’s way of life and represents this way of life as best. Sociological propaganda creates an indisputable criterion for the individual to make judgments of good and evil according to the order of the individual’s way of life. Sociological propaganda does not result in action, however, it can prepare the ground for direct propaganda. From then on, the individual in the clutches of such sociological propaganda believes that those who live this way are on the side of the angels, and those who don’t are bad.[15]

Vertical vs. Horizontal Propaganda: Vertical propaganda is similar to direct propaganda that aims at the individual in the mass and is renewed constantly. However, in horizontal propaganda there is no top down structure but rather it springs up from within the group. It involves meticulous encirclement that traps an individual involuntarily in dialectic. The individual is led unfailingly to its adherence by talking about the dialectic until the individual discovers the answer that was set up unconsciously for him to find. Schools are a primary mechanism for integrating the individual into the way of life.

Rational vs. Irrational Propaganda:

Propaganda is addressed to the individual on the foundation of feelings and passions which are irrational, however, the content of propaganda does address reason and experience when it presents information and furnishes facts making it rational as well. It is important for propaganda to be rational because modern man needs relation to facts. Modern man wants to be convinced that by acting in a certain way he is obeying reason in order to have self justification. The challenge is creating an irrational response on the basis of rational and factual elements by leaving an impression on an individual that remains long after the facts have faded away. Individuals are not compelled to act based facts but rather on emotional pressure, the vision of the future, or the myth.

Agitation vs. Integration propaganda: Propaganda of agitation seeks to mobilize people in order to destroy the established order and/or government. It seeks rebellion by provoking a crisis or unleashing explosive movements during one. It momentarily subverts the habits, customs, and beliefs that were obstacles to making great leap forward by addressing the internal elements in each of us. It eradicates the individual out of his normal framework and then proceeds to plunge him into enthusiasm by suggesting extraordinary goals which nevertheless seem to him completely within reach. However, this enthusiasm can only last a short duration so the objective must be achieved quickly followed by a period of rest. People cannot be kept at in a "state of perpetual enthusiasm and insecurity". Rebellion is incited by the propagandist who knows that hate is one of the most profitable resources when drawn out of an individual. Agitation propaganda is usually thought of as propaganda in that it aims to influence people to act. Integration propaganda, on the other hand, is a more subtle form that aims to reinforce cultural norms. This is sociological in nature because it provides stability to society by supporting the "way of life" and the myths within a culture. It is propaganda of conformity that requires participation in the social body. This type of propaganda is more prominent and permanent, yet it is not as recognized as agitation propaganda because it is more permanent manner. Basically, agitation propaganda provides the motive force when needed and when not needed integration propaganda provides the context and backdrop. Chapter Two: The Condition for the Existence of Propaganda

The nature of propaganda has changed over the course of time and yet it is evident that propaganda cannot exist without a milieu. The emergence of propaganda is interconnected with technology and scientific discoveries yet it can only appear and grow under certain conditions. Several events have occurred that have furthered propaganda by increasing its ability in depth and discovering new methods. Modern propaganda could not exist without the mass media or modern means of transportation which permit crowds of diverse individuals from all over to assemble easily and frequently. 1.Part One: The Sociological Conditions

Society must contain elements of both an individualist society and a mass society. Propaganda aims to capture both the mass and the individual at the same time through this dual type of society. A mass society is based on individuals that are reduced to ciphers based on what they have in common to others. First conditions for growth and development of modern propaganda: it emerged in Western Europe in the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth precisely because that was when society was becoming increasingly individualistic and its organic structures were breaking down. Individuals without natural organic local groups are defenseless and more likely to be caught up in a social current. On the other hand, a mass society has considerable population density in which local structures and organizations are weak, currents of opinion are strongly felt creating a certain psychological unity, and individuals are organized into large and influential collectives. Mass society is characterized by uniformity and material life despite differences of environment. Once a mass society is created, public opinion will begin to play a role to help individuals form their own personal opinion. Public opinion can only express itself through channels which are provided by the mass media of communication without which there could be no propaganda. Yet it is important that mass media be subject to centralized control in order to successfully form public opinion without any opposition. Again Ellul mentions that the individual must be caught in wide net of media through all channels. Once opinion has been formed, propaganda is able to reinforce it and transform opinion into action. 2. Part Two: Objective Conditions of Total Propaganda Propaganda thrives off of what individuals have in common with others to develop patterns of behavior and modify cultural opinions. Total propaganda recognizes that within a nation individuals should all have in common a standard of living, a culture, and an ideology. The need of an average standard of living is that people must be able to afford to buy a radio, TV, a newspaper, or go to the movies. It is mostly concerned with the densest mass which is made up of average men and not the very rich or very poor. Poor cannot do this therefore they cannot be subjected to integration propaganda because the immediate concerns of daily life absorb all their capacities and efforts. The poor can only be subjected to agitation propaganda, excited to the point of theft and murder. But they cannot be trained by propaganda, kept in hand, channeled, and oriented. More advanced propaganda can influence only a man who is not completely haunted by poverty, a man who can view things from a certain distance and be reasonably unconcerned about his daily bread, who therefore can take an interest in more general matters.

"For propaganda to be effective the propagandee must have a certain store of ideas and a number of conditioned reflexes that can only be acquired through peace of mind springing from relative security. The establishment of a mode of common life- all this leads to the creation of a type of normal man conveniently leads all men toward that norm via a multitude of paths. Propaganda’s intent is to integrate people into the normal pattern prevailing in society bring about conformance to way of life. To sum up: The creation of normalcy in our society can take one of two shapes. It can be the result of scientific, psycho-sociological analysis based on statistics- that is the American type of normalcy. It can be ideological and doctrinaire- that is the Communist type. But the results are identical: such normalcy necessarily gives rise to propaganda that can reduce the individual to the pattern most useful to society."[16]

"Information" Is an essential element of propaganda, which must "have reference to political or economic reality" to be credible. In fact, no propaganda can work until the moment when a set of facts has become a problem in the eyes of those who constitute public opinion." Education permits the dissemination of propaganda in that it enables people to consume information. Information is indistinguishable from propaganda in that information is an essential element of propaganda because for propaganda to succeed it must have reference to political or economic reality. Propaganda grafts itself onto an already existing reality through "informed opinion". Where no informed opinion with regard to political or economic affairs propaganda cannot exist making it an indispensable aspect. Propaganda means nothing without preliminary information that provides the basis for propaganda, gives propaganda the means to operate, and generates the problems that propaganda exploits by pretending to offer solutions. It is through information that the individual is placed in a social context and learns to understand the reality of his own situation. Information allows us to evaluate our situation feel our own personal problems are a general social problem thus enabling propaganda to entice us into social and political action. Information is most effective when it is objective and broad because it creates a general picture. With information quantity is better than quality, the more political or economic facts believed to be mastered by an individual, the more sensitive their judgment is to propaganda. In fact, only in and through propaganda do the masses have access to political economy, politics, art, or literature. The more stereotypes in a culture, the easier it is to form public opinion, and the more an individual participates in that culture, the more susceptible he becomes to the manipulation of these symbols. Chapter Three: The Necessity for Propaganda

All propaganda is based on a need, a dual need, first there is the need of state to make it and second there is the need of propagandee to receive it. These two needs compliment and correspond to each other in the development of propaganda. Propaganda is an expression of modern society as a whole. 1.Part One: The State's Necessity

The State has the need to make propaganda to integrate citizens into its society, to disseminate information, and to increase participation and involvement of members of society. Sometimes the people want to take part in government affairs. However, the official leaders cannot disconnect themselves from what the people want. Being that the people in charge cant escape the people , bait must be presented to them. This acts as a disguise that must be there to hide what is really happening behind the scenes in the government . Citizens are aware that political decisions affect everybody and governments cannot govern without the support, presence, pressure, or knowledge of the people. Yet the people are incapable of making long term policy so opinion must be created to follow the government because the government cannot be led by opinion. All of this describes the "Mass-Government" relationship characterized by people demanding what has already been decided, in order to appear as though the government is actually caring about what the people need. The next part that the book discuss is psychological warfare. It is believed to be a peace policy that is used between nations as a form of aggression. This type of propaganda changes the public opinion of an opposing regime so that it can be in favor of there regime. 2. Part Two: The Individual’s Necessity The individual needs propaganda to gain satisfaction as a member of society. Individuals want to be informed and to participate in the decisions of the state. Propaganda is the outlet through which individuals obtain the satisfaction of having contributed to the state. It is a necessary instrument of a state or institution to spread information to members of the group or society. But for propaganda to succeed it must respond to a need on the individual’s part as well. The individual is by no means just an innocent victim of propaganda when in fact he provokes the psychological action of propaganda by not merely lending himself to it, but also from deriving satisfaction from it. It is strictly a sociological phenomenon, in the sense that it has its roots and reasons in the need of the group that will sustain it. The great role performed by propaganda is in its ability to give the people the involvement they crave or the illusion of it in order for the masses to be artificially satisfied. Individuals are faced with decisions which require a range of information that the individual does not and cannot have without propaganda. Thus, the individual is unable to accept that he cannot form opinion on his own and is caught between his desire and his inability. People are willing and likely to accept propaganda that allows them to artificially satisfy their desire to have an opinion by hiding their incompetence. The individual does not mind being given preconceived positions because otherwise he would realize that he does not understand the problems of the modern world. The individual would then realize that he "depends on situations of which he has no control" and have to face this reality. The individual cannot live in the state of this harsh reality so he derives satisfaction from the veil created by the ideology and the sense of values it provides. The individual need psychological and ideological reasons why he needs to be where he is and propaganda is the mechanism that the state uses for this very purpose. Chapter Four: Psychological Effects of Propaganda

The psychological effects of propaganda on an individual cannot be ignored. The individual undergoes profound changes while being propagandized mainly the diminishment of personal activity. "Propaganda furnishes objectives, organizes the traits of an individual into a system, and freezes them into a mold by standardizing current ideas, hardening the prevailing stereotypes, and furnishing thought patterns in all areas."[17] The individual is traumatized by the overwhelming force of propaganda that intensifies the prejudices and beliefs until eventually the individual has no control over his own impulses. It seeks to push the individual into the mass until his will fades entirely into that of the mass. Individuality is sacrificed for the greater cause of the nation by uniting him and blending him with others. Critical and personal judgment are subdued and replaced with ready-made attitudes and opinions. Discernment is made nearly impossible for the individual whose ability to judge is destroyed making him dependent on propaganda’s ready-made opinions from then on. The individual can no longer exercise his own judgment and becomes honed into what propaganda tells him. He no longer expresses himself but his group once he accepts public opinion as his own. The artificial, impersonal public opinion created by propaganda is absorbed by the individual and he becomes filled with its conviction. When he is fully integrated in the social group and can no longer distinguish between himself and society than he has reached total alienation. In this process, the individual’s personal inclinations lead to participation in the collective where he loses control and submits to external impulses. The individual is suppressed psychologically so that he can continue to live under the conditions in which society places him by providing an artificial and unreal reality that is the result of powerful propaganda. Chapter Five: The Socio-Political Effects

"In the nineteenth century, the problem of opinion formation through the expression of thought was essentially a problem of contacts between the State and the individual, and a problem of acquisition of freedom. But today, thanks to the mass media, the individual finds himself outside the battle that is now between the State and powerful groups. The freedom to express ideas is no longer at stake in this debate but it has been replaced by mastery and domination by the State or some powerful groups over the formation of opinion. The individual is not in the battle because he is the stake and the battle will determine what voice he will be permitted to hear and which words will have the power to obsess him."[18] 1.Part One: Propaganda and Ideology

An ideology provides society certain beliefs and no social group can exist without the foundation of these beliefs. Propaganda is the means by which an ideology can expand without force. An ideology is either fortified within a group or expanded beyond the borders of a group through propaganda. However, propaganda is less and less concerned with spreading the ideology nowadays as it is with becoming autonomous. The ideology is no longer the decisive factor of propaganda that must be obeyed by the propagandist. The propagandist cannot be constrained by the ideology of his State but must operate in service of the state and be able to manipulate the ideology as if it were an object. The ideology merely provides the content for the propagandist to build off since he is limited to what already is present within the group, nation, or society. The fundamental ideologies are nationalism, socialism, communism, and democracy. 2. Part Two: Effects on the Structure of Public Opinion Public opinion is an instrument of propaganda that is disseminated through the mass media of communication to the masses. While most people view the formation of public opinion as being shaped itself by interaction between different viewpoints on controversial questions, this is incorrect because public opinion is delineated by propaganda as a "truth" which is either believed or not believed. Public opinion ceases to be controversial and can no longer form itself except through channels of mass media. No opinion can be held until it is communicated to the masses through mass media. Propaganda uses public opinion to externalize inner opinions of the organization to the masses that eventually produces conformity.[19] 3. Part Three: Propaganda and Grouping In regards to propaganda, there are two groups: the groups that make propaganda and the groups that are subjected to propaganda. In Ellul's view, there is a "double foray on the part of propaganda that proves the excellence of one group and the evilness of another at the same time to create partitioning". This creates isolation between groups by promoting allegiance to the group one is in and suppressing conversation between groups. The more they listen to their propaganda the stronger their beliefs and the greater their justifications for their actions. Partitioning takes place on many different levels including class, religious, political, national and blocs of nations. A superior group is able to affect the lesser groups, however, groups that have an equal amount of influence will only separate further from one another in that a members allegiance to a group develops closed mindedness. Well-organized propaganda is able to work with different elements that exist within a nation such as religion, political parties, and labor groups. 4. Part Four: Propaganda and Democracy Since democracy depends on public opinion, it is clear that propaganda must be involved. The relationship between democracy and propaganda evidently presents a conflict between the principles of democracy and the processes of propaganda. The individual is viewed as the cornerstone of a democracy which is a form of government that is made "for the people and by the people". However, as discussed in early chapters Ellul described the masses are incapable of making long-term foreign policy and the government needs to make these decisions in a timely manner. This is where propaganda comes into play and projects an artificial reality to the masses to satisfy their need to participate in government while the decisions are really made behind the scenes. This was also describe earlier as the "mass-government" relationship. Democratic regimes develop propaganda in line with its myths and prejudices. Propaganda stresses the superiority of a democratic society while intensifying the prejudices between democratic and oppressive.

Major themes

Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes builds on prior notions of propaganda to demonstrate that while propaganda is psychological in nature it is just as much sociological in nature as well. Propaganda is not just embedded into the individual's psyche but also the cultural psyche. Propaganda works off the inner characteristics of both the individual and the society that the individual belongs. This thorough analysis made by Ellul illustrates that to downplay the importance of the sociological influences of propaganda to psychological ones is a dreadful error. Propaganda is more threatening when it begins to be recognized as sociological as well psychological in nature. Below are two major themes the first stressing the psychological aims of propaganda the second the sociological aims.

"The Lonely Crowd"

The term "lonely crowd" is used by Ellul to distinguish the two inseparable elements of propaganda, the individual and the masses, which must be addressed by the propagandist at the same time. As an isolated unit, the individual is of no interest to the propagandist unless he is reduced to an average. It is crucial that the individual is never considered as an individual but always in terms of what he has in common with others. The individual is included and integrated into the mass because the propagandist profits from the process of diffusion of emotions through the mass, and at the same time, from the pressures felt by an individual when in a group.[20]

In this setting, "the individual caught up in the mass", the individual's reactions are easier to provoke and psychic defenses are weakened. The individual must always be considered as a participant in a mass and similarly the mass must only be viewed as a crowd composed of individuals. When propaganda is addressed to the crowd, it must touch each individual in that crowd which is in fact nothing but assembled individuals. Conversely, the individual should not be viewed as alone as a listener, watcher, or reader because the individual is nevertheless part of an invisible crowd though he is actually alone. The most favorable moment to influence an individual is when he is alone in the mass, the structure of the mass is extremely profitable to the propagandist concerned with being effective.

Fundamental currents in society

"One cannot make just any propaganda any place for anybody."[21] While propaganda is focused on reaching the individual, it cannot only rely on building off what already exists in the individual. Propaganda must also attach itself to the pre-existing fundamental currents of the society it seeks to influence. The propagandist must know the current tendencies and the stereotypes among the public he is trying to reach. These are indicated by principal symbols of the culture the propagandist wishes to attack since these symbols express the attitudes of a particular culture. Individuals are part of a culture and are therefore psychologically shaped by that culture. The main task of propaganda is to utilize the conditioned symbols as transmitters of that culture to serve its purpose. Propaganda must be a reflection of the fundamental structures of society to be successful and not contradictory of existing opinions. A skillful propagandist does not try to change mass opinion or go against an accepted structure. Only a bad propagandist would make a direct attack on an established, reasoned, durable opinion, accepted cliché, or fixed pattern. "Each individual harbors a large number of stereotypes and established tendencies; from this arsenal the propagandist must select those easiest to mobilize, those which will give the greatest strength to the action he wants to precipitate."[22]

While propaganda cannot create something out of nothing, it does have the ability to build on the foundation already established. More importantly even though it does not create new material and is confined to what already exists, it is not necessarily powerless. "It can attack from the rear, war own slowly, provide new centers of interest, which cause the neglect of previously acquired positions; it can divert a prejudice; or it can elicit an action contrary to an opinion held by the individual without his being clearly aware of it."[23]

Propaganda can gradually undermine prejudices and images in order to weaken them. These fundamental currents in society create the perfect atmosphere for sociological propaganda which influences the individual through his customs and unconscious habits. Sociological propaganda is a phenomenon where a society tries to unify its members’ behavior according to a pattern. Essentially sociological propaganda is to increase conformity with the environment that is of a collective nature by developing compliance with or defense of the established order through long term penetration and progressive adaptation by using all social currents. The propaganda element is the way of life with which the individual is permeated and then the individual begins to express it in film, writing, or art without realizing it. This involuntary behavior creates an expansion of society through advertising, the movies, education, and magazines. "The entire group, consciously or not, expresses itself in this fashion; and to indicate, secondly that its influence aims much more at an entire style of life."[24] This type of propaganda is not deliberate but springs up spontaneously or unwittingly within a culture or nation. This propaganda reinforces the individual’s way of life and represents this way of life as best.

See also [edit] Brainwashing Conformity Ideology Indoctrination Media manipulation Mind control Propaganda Psychological manipulation Psychological warfare Social Influence Socially constructed reality

British propaganda is especially sophisticated and nasty. See In Foreign Events Coverage The Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment

Anatomy of US sanctions against Russia

The USA administration, and especially neocons, entrenched in State Department, organized putsch in Kiev with the help of their European satellites. When the civil war started as the result of the putsch the USA introduced sanctions against Russia. See "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place

Tremendous pressure exerted on Russia by the West, largely intended to show the subjects of world politics undesirability of implementing an independent foreign policy. Washington and its satellites in Europe through sanctions are trying to demonstrate their ability to isolate the "offending" countries from the global economy and technical progress by controlling supplies of high technology equipment. However, analysis of the accusations against Russia suggests that both the USA Europe are dominated by neoliberals/neocons who themselves are divorced from the realities of the current processes and looks at the world through the eyes of the early 90th then neoliberalism enjoyed its triumphal march in Eastern Europe and xUSSR space.

After 2008  neoliberalism entered so called zombie stage. It is still very powerful and very dangerous, but ideology of neoliberalism, like ideology of Marxism before is now looks like  perishable goods with expired date of consumption. In no way it is not attractive anymore. Events like enforcing Greece debt slavery by Germany and France only increase the reaction of rejection. 

And that's despite all economic power the USA definitely possesses and success in implementing economic sanctions which drove the Russia GDP growth into negative rages presents huge challenge for the USA. One of the best option the USA elites are pushing is the limited war in Europe that can weaken both EU and Russia. So in a way the putsch in Kiev was anti-EU measure, as Victoria Nuland famous quote suggests.

Sanctions, as damaging  as they are, suggest that the empire lost diplomatic skills. And there is no question that  economic weapons are as close to the act of war as you can get.  See Cold War II. As Patrick Buchanan notes (ecnomicpolicyjournal.com, April 28, 2014):

"Mr. Obama is focused on isolating President Vladimir V. Putin's Russia by cutting off its economic and political ties to the outside world ... and effectively making it a pariah state."

So wrote Peter Baker in Sunday's New York Times. Yet if history is any guide, this "pariah policy," even if adopted, will not long endure.

Three years after Khrushchev sent tanks into Hungary, he
was touring the USA and celebrating with Ike the new "Spirit of Camp David."

Half a year after Khrushchev moved missiles into Cuba, JFK was talking detente is his famous speech at American University.

Three weeks after Moscow incited the Arabs in the Six-Day War, Lyndon Johnson was meeting with Premier Alexei Kosygin in New Jersey, where the "Spirit of Glassboro," was born.

So it went through the Cold War. Post-crises, U.S. presidents reached out to Soviet leaders. For they saw Russia as too large and too powerful to be isolated and ostracized like North Korea.

The sustained expansion of economic sanctions, especially  against the oil and gas sector and specific companies as well as limited access to credit resources indicate the seriousness of the Western establishment to deprive Russia of the economic growth and the ability to protect its own economic interests.

The neocons strategy of encirclement and isolation of Russia

This "Anaconda strategy" of encircling Russia got a significant boost after the victory of far right in EuroMaidan. This event has become for a great geopolitical victory for the USA and humbling defeat for Russia. Russia was in bad shape to prevent it, as the logic of development of new state immanently produces anti-Russian sentiments as the mean to create their own identity. But still weakness of Russia in Ukraine was real and signify a serious problems ahead. Also the USA is way to strong to go into open confontation with the US neocons, which dominates the US foreign policy.

The reaction of Russia on far right victory at EuroMaydan gave rise in in the US establishment, to even more active implementation of the strategy of confrontation, and propaganda campaign against "the Russian threat".  Like Bolsheviks before them (and neocons are just turncoat Trotskyites, so there are a lot of common between two), they hate any obstacle on the path to creation of global neoliberal empire led by the USA. This strategy involves increasing the military presence on the European continent and military power of NATO. Much tougher stance toward Russian projects in Western and Eastern Europe and in attacks on the level of international organizations. Along with the anti-Russian operations in Europe, the US and its satellites are active in the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus. A good example is the recent attempt to organize a Maidan in Armenia.


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[Oct 21, 2018] Naftogaz has now begun to help itself to money from Russia's gas-transit payments, arguing that it is owed money from the Stockholm Arbitration ruling which Gazprom has refused to pay

Oct 21, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman October 13, 2018 at 10:22 pm

Naftogaz has now begun to help itself to money from Russia's gas-transit payments, arguing that it is owed money from the Stockholm Arbitration ruling which Gazprom has refused to pay.

https://www.naturalgasworld.com/ukraine-takes-9mn-from-gazprom-penalty-payment-65062

Apparently Russia is still paying the old rate, from before the ruling (because to do otherwise would be to recognize the debt and accept responsibility for it), which results in an overpayment since it is higher than Naftogaz would charge, if I understand correctly. So Naftogaz has decided to confiscate it as owing.

This, obviously, sets the stage for another shutdown of European gas supplies, just as winter is coming on. Perhaps Ukraine has realized that nothing it can do or say is going to stop Nord Stream II from going ahead, and so it might as well recover what it can, and who cares if it results in a shutdown of Europe's gas, regardless where the blame ends up? Once again Ukraine's maneuvering puts Russia in a difficult spot – it can recognize the Stockholm award and pay Ukraine $2.6 Billion or whatever it was. Or it can accept that Ukraine will keep part of its transit payments against the debt until it can shut down gas transit across Ukraine altogether. Or it can shut off the gas now.

If it were up to me, I would take the middle option. Let Ukraine congratulate itself on one-upping me with its native cleverness (assuming here that I am Russia), and let them keep $9 or $10 million of the transit fees each month; that would probably be a lot cheaper than acknowledging the Stockholm award and paying Ukraine billions, in view of the fact that Ukraine never paid back the money it was lent by Russia; Stockholm neatly solved that for them, by awarding them huge damages, part of which was understood to be the amount Ukraine owed. Okay, that goes toward Ukraine's debt to Russia, and now you owe Ukraine $2.6 Billion more.

I would just focus on getting Nord Stream II completed. Then I would not only stop gas transit through Ukraine, I would tell them to kiss my ass if they wanted to buy gas for themselves. You were so pleased with yourselves for not buying any gas from Russia last year – obviously you can get along fine without it. But I sure hope Europe is going to keep giving you money to buy European gas forever.

[Oct 21, 2018] Live Putin attends Valdai Club plenary session

Oct 21, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the 15th Annual Meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi on Thursday, October 18.

The Valdai Discussion Club, established in 2004, has become an internationally recognised platform for interaction between leading world experts and Russian scholars, politicians and government officials.

[Oct 21, 2018] Putin lays down the law to the Davos crowd at this year's Valdai conference: There is a limit to your provocations and attempts to undermine Russia. So don't cross that line

Notable quotes:
"... The Davos Crowd ..."
"... It's not that Putin's stance was any different than in the past. Russia will strike back at an aggressor under any circumstance where the future of Russia is at stake. It was his assurance that in doing so 1) it would be just and righteous "dying like martyrs" and 2) so swift and brutal the aggressors would "die like dogs" bereft of the chance to ask for salvation. ..."
"... Notice how there have been no attacks or even harsh language coming out of Israel or the U.S. in the past few weeks. The failure of the British/French/Israeli operation to sucker Trump into an invasion of Syria is now complete. ..."
"... Putin wasn't boasting or grandstanding about Russia's hypersonic weapons capability. He told everyone they are deployed. He did this to shut up the U.S. neoconservative chattering class who he rightly says whisper in President Trump's ear that they can win a nuclear conflict with Russia. ..."
"... They are insane. And you have to treat them that way. ..."
Oct 21, 2018 | www.sott.net

Every year Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at the Valdai Economic Forum. And each year his talk is important. Putin isn't one to mince words on important issues.

With tensions between Russia and the West reaching Cold War levels, Valdai represented the first time we've heard Putin speak in a long-form discussion since Helsinki and the events thereafter - IL-20, Khashoggi, etc.

So, this talk is worth everyone's time. And when I say everyone's I mean every single person who could be affected by the breakdown of the U.S. political system and how that spills over onto Russia's shores.

In other words, pretty much everyone on the planet.

Because what Putin did at Valdai was to lay down the new rules of conduct in geopolitical affairs. He put the U.S. and European oligarchs I call The Davos Crowd on notice.

There is a limit to your provocations and attempts to undermine Russia. So don't cross that line.

Peace Through Strength

The big quote from his talk is the one everyone is focusing on, and rightly so, Russia's policy about using nuclear weapons.

It's not that Putin's stance was any different than in the past. Russia will strike back at an aggressor under any circumstance where the future of Russia is at stake. It was his assurance that in doing so 1) it would be just and righteous "dying like martyrs" and 2) so swift and brutal the aggressors would "die like dogs" bereft of the chance to ask for salvation.


Those are strong words. They are the words of a meek man. And the word meek, as Jordan Peterson reminds us, describes someone who has weapons, knows how to use them and keeps them sheathed until they have no other option.

The reaction from the audience (see video above) was nervous laughter, but I don't think Putin was having one over on anyone.

He was serious. This is the very definition of meek.

It is really no different than the attitude of Secretary of Defense James Mattis who said, "I come in peace. I didn't bring artillery. But I'm pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you f$*k with me, I'll kill you all."

Men like this are not to be tested too hard. And Putin's response to the shooting down of the IL-20 plane and its crew was to cross a bunch of diplomatic lines by handing out S-300s to Syria and erecting a de facto no-fly zone over Western Syria and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Notice how there have been no attacks or even harsh language coming out of Israel or the U.S. in the past few weeks. The failure of the British/French/Israeli operation to sucker Trump into an invasion of Syria is now complete.

And I'm convinced that Nikki Haley paid the price.

All of this highlights the major theme that came out of Putin's comments.

Strength through resolve. Resolve comes as a consequence of defending culture.

Putin wasn't boasting or grandstanding about Russia's hypersonic weapons capability. He told everyone they are deployed. He did this to shut up the U.S. neoconservative chattering class who he rightly says whisper in President Trump's ear that they can win a nuclear conflict with Russia.

They are insane. And you have to treat them that way.

Culture First

Putin sees himself, quite rightly, as the custodian of the Russian people and, as such, the Russian state as the reflection of Russian culture. If you are going to have a state and someone is going to be the head of it, this is the attitude that you want from that person.

In his dialogue with an Orthodox priest Putin wholeheartedly agreed with the idea that "the state cannot dictate culture" but rather, at best, be the facilitator of it through its applications of law.

In a back and forth with a very enthusiastic Russian dairy farmer, who was quite proud of his cheese, Putin reminded the man that while he loved sanctions (from European competition) protecting his business today he should not get used to them. They will be removed at some point and the farmer would have to stand on his own wits to survive in the international market.

Putin understands that subsidies breed sloth. That was a message he made loud and clear.

It's why when the sanctions first went into effect in 2014 over the reunification of Crimea and during the Ruble crisis Putin shifted state subsidies away from the petroleum sector which had thrived and gotten soft during years of $100+/bbl oil and shifted that money to agriculture.

The fruits of that successful policy shift he confronted head on at Valdai. Russia's food production across all sectors is flourishing thanks to a cheap ruble, which the U.S. keeps beating down via sanctions, and the Russian state getting out of the way of investment.

At the time he incurred the wrath of Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin and Putin ignored him, much to everyone's surprise. The message was clear, we'll help you out of your current troubles but it's time to do business differently. Because it was Rosneft that needed the biggest bailouts in late 2014/early 2015 having tens of billions in dollar-denominated debt which couldn't be rolled over thanks to the sanctions.

The Limits of Empire

Ultimately, Putin looked resigned, if confused, to the insanity emanating from U.S. policy. But it's obvious to him that Russia cannot get caught up in the tit-for-tat nuisances put up to derail Russia's future.

He mentioned the Empire loses its way because it believed itself invulnerable or as my dad used to say about certain athletes, "He reads his own press clippings too much."

There is a solipsism that infects dominant societies which creates the kind of over-reactions we're witnessing today. Power is slipping away from the U.S. and Trump is both helping the process along while also trying to preserve the core of what's left.

And no interaction during Putin's talk was more indicative of his view of the U.S. empire than his interaction with a Japanese delegate who asked him about signing a peace treaty with Japan.

And Putin's answer was clear. It's Japan's pride and political entanglements that preclude this from happening. Signing the peace treaty is not necessary to solving ownership of the Kuril Islands. Russia and Japan are both diminished by having this obstacle in the way.

The issue can resolve itself after the peace treaty is signed. The current state of things is silly and anachronistic and keep the divide between Russians and Japanese from healing. Create trust through agreement then move forward.

That's what is happening between Russia and Egypt and that is why Putin is winning the diplomatic war.

And it's why Trump is losing the diplomatic war. Putin knows where Trump is. He was there himself seventeen years ago, except an order of magnitude worse. The problems Trump is facing are the same problems Putin faced, corruption, venality, treason all contributing to a collapse in societal and cultural institutions.

Putin knows the U.S. is at a crossroads, and he's made his peace with whatever comes next. The question is have we?

[Oct 21, 2018] The basic plans of nuclear war today are essentially the same as those developed in the 1960s, which is essentially a system of thousands of nuclear weapons aimed at Russian cities and military targets ready to be launched at a moment's notice. The US strategy has always been for a first strike

Oct 21, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star October 13, 2018 at 12:34 pm

"The basic plans of nuclear war today are essentially the same as those developed in the 1960s, which is essentially a system of thousands of nuclear weapons aimed at Russian cities and military targets ready to be launched at a moment's notice.
The US strategy has always been for a first strike: not necessarily a surprise attack but not an attack which came "second" in a nuclear war.
Every US president, all the way to Trump, has used the threat of nuclear war as deterrence to their adversaries.
The US threat of nuclear attack has precluded any "effective nonproliferation campaign" among other nation-states which have decided to acquire nuclear weapons themselves.
US nuclear war plans, and the hypothetical and real scenarios under which they unfold, are far more extensive than the public can imagine. Ellsberg writes how the public perception of a "nuclear button" with one finger on it, presumably the President's, is a lie. In fact, there are many fingers on many buttons, to delegate authority to launch nuclear missiles in case the President and the leadership were incapacitated. These same systems exist in Russia, and probably other nuclear-armed powers as well.
The Cuban Missile Crisis was even more dangerous than previously thought, as demonstrated in a highly classified study in 1964 which was never made public until this book.
The strategic nuclear war systems are much more prone to "accidents" and false alarms than previously thought, risking the threat of unauthorized launchings.
The potential risk of nuclear war has been systematically covered up from the public, including the aforementioned graph showing hundreds of millions of deaths, a third of the planet at the time. Ellsberg notes that in 1961 when the document was made, it was two decades before the concept of nuclear winter and nuclear famine were accepted, which meant that in reality most humans would die along with most other large species after a nuclear war."

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/10/13/doom-o13.html

[Oct 21, 2018] A non-nuclear war between Russia and USA/NATO waged in Western Europe is impossible

Oct 21, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star October 20, 2018 at 12:33 pm

Nuclear war between NATO/USA and Russia:
We are no longer in Kansas matter of fact there ain't any Kansas:
https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2018/10/19/17873822/nuclear-war-weapons-bombs-how-kill

As for a non-nuclear war between Russia and USA/NATO waged in Western Europe.
@PO and Mark and other stooges

I don't see how one is possible. Unless Scotty et al with working teleporter equipment are able to teleport NATO armor and troops into Russia , their columns moving through Belarus ,Ukraine and Poland would be massacred. There wouldn't be much left by the time they got to the Russian frontier. where waiting Russian armor and artillery would have all routes of approach thoroughly zeroed in and sighted. Not to mention waves of Iskander and cruise missile strikes together with attacks from Russian aircraft . The NATO forces would almost certainly not have the crucial element of air superiority thanks to Russian S-400 systems.

https://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/su25/
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/russias-deadly-su-27-the-plane-terrifies-nato-buzzes-its-25642
"The Iskander is not a strategic weapon -- it's a tactical ballistic missile. During combat operations, it would be used to destroy both stationary and moving targets. Targets would range from surface-to-air missile batteries, enemy short-range missiles, airfields, ports, command and communication centers, factories and other hardened targets."
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/why-russias-iskander-missile-killer-26216

The Russians wouldn't have to actually DO anything on the offensive other than to show up at the signing of the surrender document by Stoltenberg, Merkel ,Morawiecki ,May and Bolton.
(France capitulated within 72 hours of the start of hostilities )
I just don't see a NATO conventional attack on Russia as even remotely feasible.
Just my opinion .

Mark Chapman October 20, 2018 at 12:47 pm
Well, the way it is supposed to work, you don't start at Day One with your forces deep inside enemy territory. You start on your own side, and one attacks the other and each tries to prevent penetration by the other (if you'll forgive such an image) while achieving penetration into enemy territory himself, usually only seizing territory which follow-up forces are available to hold, so as not to be encircled and wiped out. It is demonstrably quite possible for huge amounts of US forces and armor to be assembled in England and the Netherlands and France and so forth, because it has already been done once on that scale. Likewise, Russia would not start out with troops in any of those countries.

Missiles are dandy for wiping out enemy forces at the touch of a button, but you still have to seize that territory, once vacated, and prevent the enemy from simply flowing into the vacuum and re-taking it. That sort of doctrine is pretty much like the US vision of air superiority, where the USAF would simply fly over and bomb the shit out of everything, no troops required. That's how it was supposed to go in Iraq, except it didn't. Fortunately, I guess, because otherwise the phrase "Boots on the ground" might never have been coined, and then what would journalists say when they wanted to appear salty and battle-jaded?

A conventional attack on Russia is not preferred – let's just get that up front. But I don't see any other way for the west to have a war with Russia (and it has run out of ways short of war to assert its control) without it going nuclear. And Washington is not quite that crazy yet. It still wants Europe to be around afterward to be a consumer of American goods and services.

[Oct 21, 2018] Russian Deputy FM Ludicrous 'meddling' charges an excuse for more sanctions and to play 'Russia card' ahead of midterm elections

Oct 21, 2018 | www.sott.net

Washington is concocting ludicrous charges against a Russian national for alleged election meddling merely to find reasons for new sanctions and to play the 'Russia card' ahead of the midterms, a top Kremlin official has warned.

The US is bringing up "ludicrous accusations" with a "laughable 'body of proof'" simply to slap Moscow with a new round of sanctions, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in a statement on Saturday. He added that "certain" US politicians hope to use charges against Russia to gain the upper hand in "interparty brawls" ahead of the midterm elections, slated for November 6.

Ryabkov made his remarks after the US Department of Justice officially leveled charges against Russian national Elena Khusyaynova, who allegedly served as the chief accountant for 'Project Lakhta.' The officials suspect her of handling the funds used to pay online trolls for posting comments to "sow discord in the US political system," and to "undermine faith" in US democracy. These alleged activities were part of what Washington calls Russian strategic efforts to meddle in the 2016 US presidential race and as well as the upcoming midterms.

... ... ...

Russian official Ryabkov dismissed the charges as "flagrant lies" and yet another element of the "shameful slanderous campaign" unleashed by Washington against Moscow.

"The US clearly overestimates its capabilities," the deputy foreign minister said.

"While exhibiting hostility towards Russia and looking down on the whole world, they will only meet tougher pushback."

[Oct 21, 2018] Where is Sergei Skripalt by Rob Slane

Oct 18, 2018 | www.sott.net

The Blogmire
According to an article in The Mail , the mother of Sergei Skripal, Yelena, has not heard from her son since the incident on 4th March , and the last time she heard from her granddaughter, Yulia, was on 24th July:

"Recalling her phone conversation with Yulia, Yelena told the Daily Mirror : 'The last time I ­actually spoke to Yulia was on the 24th of July on my 90th birthday. She rang - it was unexpected but it was so lovely to hear from her. She called and was actually with Sergei. She told me: "I'm with daddy he is beside me but he can't speak as he has a pain in his throat". She said he had been in some pain.'"
This is interesting for a number of reasons.

Firstly, we know that during the conversation on 24th July, according to a number of reports (for example here ), Yulia told her grandmother that the reason Sergei was unable to speak was because his voice was still weak due to a tracheostomy :

"Babushka, happy birthday, everything is fine, everything is perfect. I am in London with papa. He can't speak because he's got a tracheostomy, that pipe, which will be taken off in three days. Now when he speaks with that pipe, his voice is first of all very weak and secondly, he makes quite a lot of wheeze. So babushka with your poor hearing you would really struggle to understand him. He'll call after the tracheostomy is off. "
This was almost 3 months ago. So the tracheostomy was preventing Sergei from speaking; but it was coming off in three days; yet nearly 3 months later and still no call from Sergei? Is that not very odd? Indeed, especially given that Yelena states in the interview that she and Sergei used to speak every week .

Secondly, the call on 24th July is itself very odd. Notice that Yulia uses the phrases "everything is fine, everything is perfect." These are basically the same sorts of phrases that she repeated over and over in her call with her cousin Viktoria on 5th April :

"Everything is ok, everything is fine."

"Everything is fine, but we'll see how it goes, we'll decide later. You know what the situation is here. Everything is fine, everything is solvable, everyone is recovering and is alive."

"Everything is ok. He is resting now, having a nap. Everyone's health is fine, there are no irreparable things. I will be discharged soon. Everything is ok."

She seems very keen - some would say overly keen - to emphasise that everything is fine and okay and perfect etc. To me it sounds unnatural and forced. What do you think?

But more than this, imagine yourself in the same situation. Your father is next to you. He can speak, but not very well, and so can't communicate through the phone to his mother. What would you do? Well, I know what I would do. I would relay speech from the one to the other. "He says he's getting better and misses you very much grandma." "She says she loves you, dad." Isn't that what normal people would do in such circumstances?

But instead, Yulia speaks in a way that doesn't fill me with too much certainty that he was actually in the room with her. It's all very medical and somewhat officious. And even if his voice was a bit wheezy and hard to understand, his ears were okay, weren't they? Couldn't Yulia have held the phone to her dad's ear so he could hear his mother speak to him? Again, that would be what a normal person would do in such circumstances, wouldn't it? But of course they don't do normal in SkripalWorld.

Thirdly, we have to reckon with the fact that since that call, in which Yulia indicated that Sergei would call in as little as three days, there has been no communication at all . Not with grandma. Not with Viktoria. Not with anyone (apparently even Mark Urban got the cold shoulder).

Actually, that's not quite the case. We don't really have to reckon with this because the heroic journalism of The Mail gives us the answer. In the same piece that it mentioned a call between Yulia and her grandma, in which Sergei was apparently sat right next to Yulia, we get this:

"Since that solitary phone conversation, she [Yelena] has not heard from her the two targeted relatives as any contact could lead Russian forces to the pair."
Remarkable, isn't it? So according to The Mail , the reason that Sergei Skripal cannot call his mother, is because Russian forces might be able to trace his whereabouts and order a hit on him. Another one, apparently. And yet in the very same piece they report on Yulia Skripal calling her grandmother on 24th July, with Sergei Skripal at her side. See? It's obvious, isn't it?

Not for the first time in this case, I'm left scratching my head and wondering whether the journalists who write this sort of thing believe their readers to be so dim that they won't notice statements in the same article that utterly refute one another, or whether the journalists themselves are so witless that they simply don't realise that they are contradicting themselves in the space of a few sentences. Any thoughts?

The fact is that Yulia has phoned her cousin Viktoria a number of times since the beginning of April, and in most, if not all of those calls, her father was said to be close by. She even did a little film for Reuters in May, with her father apparently in the same compound. Why were these allowed, since according to The Mail , it could have led Russian forces to the pair? Or are we to believe that Russian forces have only just developed the capability to trace phone calls since 24th July? Worse still, have British Security Services forgotten how to prevent phone calls being traced by other intelligence agencies since 24th July, not to mention also losing the ability to stop Russian forces from coming and getting them?

Or is it more likely that The Mail cannot be bothered to ask the obvious questions that stem from their own report. Such as:

1. Why is the apparent victim in this case, Sergei Skripal, who is under the protection of British (and possibly US) intelligence services, unable to phone his mother, whom he used to speak to on a weekly basis?

2. Does this constitute a violation of his human rights?

3. Given that he has had no contact with his mother since 4th March, how can we be sure that he is alive, and if he is, whether he is not being held against his will?

[Oct 20, 2018] I am most encouraged by the apparent Putin's realisation that the First Strike is possible now if not even likely. If the Russians expect an attack they are much less likely to be totally surprised, as usual. In fact, never in history was such attack by the West more likely than now, for various reasons which would take a while to explain.

Highly recommended!
Oct 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

Kiza says: October 20, 2018 at 9:13 am GMT 200 Words

Although it is almost off topic, I did find one point in Putin's Valdai speech quite telling. It was his point about the Russian automated system for detection and tracking of missile launches. Putin tried to boost the credibility of the Russian nuclear deterant by advertising this system for detecting the First Strike launches.

Although I do not believe that this system is as reliable as advertised, I am most encouraged by the apparent Putin's realisation that the First Strike is possible now if not even likely.

If the Russians expect an attack they are much less likely to be totally surprised, as usual. In fact, never in history was such attack by the West more likely than now, for various reasons which would take a while to explain.

I just hope that the Russian office corps is as prepared as Putin is to be productive martyrs (no more Arkhipovs please).

[Oct 20, 2018] Russia has a lot of fundamentals going for it, but it is also possible that the mistakes of the past and the pathological hatreds Russia has engendered among the Western and other imperial crazies will strike again. It is big and tempting.

Oct 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

Beckow says: October 18, 2018 at 1:47 pm GMT 400 Words @Anon 2 You are right that Central Europe – or more precisely Eastern Central Europe that includes Austria and parts of Germany – has been blesses with a rare combination of good (great!) geography, enough resources, high quality demographics, good location and weather, fantastic infrastructure and a relatively normal history. Western countries have suffered from a combination of imperial overreach and the inevitable blowback. Westerners have also lost the due diligence habits that make civilizations last. They often seem lazy and unserious.

To the east the lawlessness of the open spaces, harsh weather, and the frequent exposures to the nihilistic Asiatic exotica, have delayed the development of a viable, stable and pleasant way of life. They might get there eventually and I wish them all the best. Russia has a lot of fundamentals going for it, but it is also possible that the mistakes of the past – and the pathological hatreds Russia has engendered among the Western and other imperial crazies – will strike again. It is big and tempting.

The endless attempts to slice the borders of Russia, to shrink it as Brzezinski openly dreamt about, are a foolish thing that might bury us all. A compulsion of obsessive map readers. Russia is at its most destabilising when it is weak. That's when the temptations become too much and some nutcase – or a 'council' of idiots – push and push. Unfortunately for the imperial builders in the West they missed their window of opportunity and they don't seem capable of admitting it. We get ' religious schisms ' just to make sure that no stone remains unturned. It will amount to nothing. They will have to wait for the next dip, there always seems to be one in the ennui filled steppes.

Central Europe (V4+) is about to take over as the most desirable place on the planet. That's why we are seeing the Western attacks on it about some very basic and sound ideas like having borders, homogeneous populations, freedom of speech and peace with neighbours, from the rapidly disintegrating Western world. West cannot stand to live with the mistakes they have made, they want to create a multi-racial, neo-liberal, war mongering cataclysm in order to hide the painful truth of they have done. The demographic suicide of the West is probably irreversible. Macron and Merkel can prance around and preach their silly slogans, but they cannot change the numbers of the ground.

They can still convince some elderly Greek in Istanbul to pour more oil on the fire. What that shows is desperation; if all West has left are these self-defeating intrigues, they don't have much.

[Oct 20, 2018] According to Global Wealth Report by the personal wealth of the population Ukraine is in the 123rd place (out of 140 countries ranked).

Oct 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

AP says: October 18, 2018 at 9:58 pm GMT 100 Words @Gerard2

This months gas tariff for "Ukrainians" increases by 24%!!

The context is that Ukrainian consumers have the lowest gas rate in Europe. Moldovan households pay more for gas than do Ukrainian ones. Even with a 24% price increase Ukraine will still have the cheapest gas in Europe for its consumers:

https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Natural_gas_price_statistics

AP says: October 19, 2018 at 12:46 am GMT @Gerard2

The price increase will go past 40% in May

Which will make gas prices for Ukrainian consumers more or less tied with those in Moldova as the cheapest in Europe.

For whatever reason IMF wanted Ukrainian consumers not be subsidized as much as they have been.

AnonFromTN , says: October 19, 2018 at 2:51 pm GMT

@Anon According to Global Wealth Report ( https://www.credit-suisse.com/corporate/en/articles/news-and-expertise/global-wealth-report-2018-us-and-china-in-the-lead-201810.html ), by the personal wealth of the population Ukraine is in the 123rd place (out of 140 countries ranked).
By this measure Ukraine is behind Nepal, Cameroon, Kenia, Bangladesh, and Lesotho, just ahead of Zambia. But there are 135 people in Ukraine with personal wealth greater than $50 million.

A huge line for free food at the charity kitchen in Kiev can be seen here: http://rusvesna.su/news/1539952343 (those who read Russian can find details in the accompanying news item).

I guess all of this is a great achievement of Maidan. Ukies, please comment.

[Oct 20, 2018] Trump is de facto neocon

Oct 20, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter AU 1 , Oct 19, 2018 4:34:37 AM | link

@ Hoarsewhisper

I initially backed Trump, though with reservations on his attitude to Iran and his wanting to increase US military spending - build a stronger US military. Pulling out of the TPP was great. Au had sovereignty on paper if not in practice, but with the TPP, Australia would not have had sovereignty legally. His first attack on Syria was a flash bang exercise to disable his opponents. His second attack I thought initially was the same, but with everything I've read since, I believe Trump's US planned to destroy Syrian military but not wanting to go to war with Russia at that time, respected the Russian nyet on targets.

With Idlib it moved up a notch, Trump's US threatening attack on Syria including Russian personal stationed there, and Russia moving to asymmetrical moves rather than in your face nuclear amageddon, which is what a full on US attack on Syria would have amounted to..

[Oct 20, 2018] 'US Congress has no Russian policy other than sanctions' Stephen Cohen -- RT Op-ed

Notable quotes:
"... we do not know ..."
"... cooperating with Russia ..."
"... cooperation with Russia ..."
"... Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University and a contributing editor of The Nation. ..."
"... This article was originally published by The Nation . ..."
Oct 20, 2018 | www.rt.com
'US Congress has no Russian policy other than sanctions' – Stephen Cohen Published time: 19 Oct, 2018 09:09 Edited time: 19 Oct, 2018 12:25 Get short URL 'US Congress has no Russian policy other than sanctions' – Stephen Cohen © Reuters / Jonathan Ernst Inconvenient thoughts on Cold War and other news. Intelligence agencies, Nikki Haley, sanctions, and public opinion. 1. National intelligence agencies have long played major roles, often not entirely visible, in international politics. They are doing so again today, as is evident in several countries, from Russiagate in the United States and the murky Skripal assassination attempt in the UK to the apparent murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Turkey. Leaving aside what President Obama knew about Russiagate allegations against Donald Trump and when he knew it, the question arises as to whether these operations were ordered by President Putin and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) or were " rogue " operations unknown in advance by the leaders and perhaps even directed against them.

There have been plenty of purely criminal and commercial " rogue " operations by intelligence agents in history, but also " rogue " ones that were purposefully political. We know, for example, that both Soviet and US intelligence agencies - or groups of agents - tried to disrupt the Eisenhower-Khrushchev détente of the late 1950s and early 1960s, and that some intelligence players tried to stop Khrushchev's formal recognition of West Germany, also in the early 1960s.

Read more © Reuters / Alexander Zemlianichenko Putin compares Khashoggi case to Skripal poisoning, asks why Russia condemned despite lack of proof

It is reasonable to ask, therefore, whether the attacks on Skripal and Khashoggi were " rogue " operations undertaken by political opponents of the leaders' policies at home or abroad, with the help of one or another intelligence agency or agents. Motive is a - perhaps the - crucial question. Why would Putin order such an operation in the UK at the very moment when his government had undertaken a major Western public-relations campaign in connection with the upcoming World Cup championship in Russia? And why would MbS risk a Khashoggi scandal as he was assiduously promoting his image abroad as an enlightened reform-minded Saudi leader?

We lack the evidence and official candor needed to study these questions, as is usually the case with covert, secretive, disinforming intelligence operations. But the questions are certainly reason enough not to rush to judgment, as many US pundits do. Saying " we do not know " may be unmarketable in today's mass-media environment, but it is honest and the right approach to potentially fruitful " analysis. "

2. We do know, however, that there has been fierce opposition in the US political-media establishment to President Trump's policy of " cooperating with Russia ," including in US intelligence agencies, particularly the CIA and FBI - and at high levels of his own administration.

We might consider Nikki Haley's resignation as UN ambassador in this light. Despite the laurels heaped on her by anti-Trump media, and by Trump himself at their happy-hour farewell in the White House, Haley was not widely admired by her UN colleagues. When appointed for political reasons by Trump, she had no foreign-policy credentials or any expert knowledge of other countries or of international relations generally. Judging by her performance as ambassador, nor did she acquire much on the job, almost always reading even short comments from prepared texts.

More to the point, Haley's statements regarding Russia at the UN were, more often than not, dissimilar from Trump's -- indeed, implicitly in opposition to Trump's. (She did nothing, for example, to offset charges in Washington that Trump's summit meeting with Putin in Helsinki, in July, had been " treasonous .") Who wrote these statements for her, which were very similar to statements regarding Russia that have been issued by US intelligence agencies since early 2017? It is hard to imagine that Trump was unhappy to see her go, and easier to imagine him pushing her toward the exit. A president needs a loyalist as secretary of state and at the UN. Haley's pandering remarks at the White House about Trump's family suggests some deal had been made to ease her out, with non-recrimination promises made on both sides. We will see if opponents of Trump's Russia policy can put another spokesperson at the UN.

As to which aspects of US foreign policy Trump actually controls, we might ask more urgently if he authorized, or was fully informed about, the joint US-NATO-Ukraine military air exercises that got under way over Ukraine, abutting Russia, on October 8. Moscow regards these exercises as a major " provocation ," and not unreasonably.

Read more US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley © Reuters / Yuri Gripas 'Ambitious as Lucifer': Steve Bannon takes dig at Nikki Haley and her 'suspicious' resignation

3. What do Trump's opponents want instead of " cooperation with Russia "? A much harder line, including more " crushing " economic sanctions. Sanctions are more like temper tantrums and road rage than actual national-security policy, and thus are often counterproductive. We have some recent evidence. Russia's trade surplus has grown to more than $100 billion. World prices for Russia's primary exports, oil and gas, have grown to over $80 a unit while Moscow's federal budget is predicated on $53 a barrel. Promoters of anti-Russian sanctions gloat that they have weakened the ruble. But while imposing some hardships on ordinary citizens, the combination of high oil prices and a weaker ruble is ideal for Russian state and corporate exporters. They sell abroad for inflated foreign currency and pay their operating expenses at home in cheaper rubles. To risk a pun, they are " crushing it. "

Congressional sanctions - for exactly what is not always clear - have helped Putin in another way. For years, he has unsuccessfully tried to get " oligarchs " to repatriate their wealth abroad. US sanctions on various " oligarchs " have persuaded them and others to begin to do so, perhaps bringing back home as much as $90 billion already in 2018.

If nothing else, these new budgetary cash flows help Putin deal with his declining popularity at home - he still has an approval rating well above 60 percent - due to the Kremlin's decision to raise the pension age for men and women, from 60 to 65 and from 55 to 60 respectively. The Kremlin can use the additional revenue to increase the value of pensions, supplement them with other social benefits, or to enact the age change over a longer period of time.

It appears that Congress, particularly the Senate, has no Russia policy other than sanctions. It might think hard about finding alternatives. One way to start would be with real " hearings " in place of the ritualistic affirmation of orthodox policy by " experts " that has long been its practice. There are more than a few actual specialists out there who think different approaches to Moscow are long overdue.

READ MORE: Most Americans favor diplomacy over sanctions when it comes to Russia – poll

4. All of these dangerous developments, indeed the new US-Russian Cold War itself, are elite projects -- political, media, intelligence, etc. Voters were never really consulted. Nor do they seem to approve. In August, Gallup asked its usual sample of Americans which policy toward Russia they preferred. Fifty-eight percent wanted improved relations vs. only 36 percent who wanted a tougher US policy with more sanctions. (Meanwhile, two-thirds of Russians surveyed by an independent agency now see the United States as their country's number-one enemy, and about three-fourths view China favorably.)

Will any of the US political figures already jockeying for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020 take these realities into account?

Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University and a contributing editor of The Nation.

This article was originally published by The Nation .

[Oct 20, 2018] Cloak and Dagger by Israel Shamir

Highly recommended!
UK politicians in Skripal story behaved by cheap clowns. Their story with door knob was pathetic. They tried to invent the legend with poisoning on the fly and that shows. There is definitely something else brewing here and Shamir proposed his version with Skripal double dealings or something along those line is quite plausible.
We will never know, but I think British discredited themselves for the whole world in this story. Trump was not better will using this tory to impose additional sanctions on Russia. This is just another proof that he is another neocon who during election campaign like Obama played the role of isolationalist and then appointed Haley to UN and hired Pompeo as his Secretary of state and Bolton as his security advisor -- a typical "bat and switch" operation in US politics.
Notable quotes:
"... Vrublevsky thinks that British intelligence convinced the GRU (probably we should say that GRU is not called GRU anymore but GU, the Chief Directorate of the General Staff, but it hardly matters) that Mr Skripal wanted to return home to Russia. Probably they were told that Mr Skripal intended to bring some valuable dowry with him, including Porton Down data and the secrets of the Golden Rain dossier. It is possible that Skripal had been played, too; perhaps he indeed wanted to go back to Russia, the country he missed badly. ..."
"... As we had learned from videos and stills published by the Brits, the two men had been carefully followed from the beginning to the end. Meanwhile, British intelligence staged a 'poisoning' of Skripal and his daughter, and the two agents quickly returned home. ..."
"... There is not a single man close to Russian intelligence who thinks that Skripal had actually been poisoned by the Russians. First, there was absolutely no reason to do it, and second, if the Russians would poison him, he would stay poisoned, like the Ukrainian Quisling Stepan Bandera was. ..."
"... However, by playing this card, the British secret service convinced the Foreign Office to expel all diplomats who had contacts and connection to the exposed GRU agents. The massive expulsion of 150 diplomats caused serious damage to the Russian secret services. ..."
"... Such a massive operation against Russian agents and their contacts could signal forthcoming war. In normal circumstances, states do not reveal their full knowledge of enemy agents. ..."
"... I do not know what is the truth. At this point I no longer care because we will never know but it will be the British version that will be the most popular. I like most people like good stories. Unfortunately for Russia the Brits have better script writers, director and actors. ..."
Oct 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

... ... ...

Vrublevsky thinks that British intelligence convinced the GRU (probably we should say that GRU is not called GRU anymore but GU, the Chief Directorate of the General Staff, but it hardly matters) that Mr Skripal wanted to return home to Russia. Probably they were told that Mr Skripal intended to bring some valuable dowry with him, including Porton Down data and the secrets of the Golden Rain dossier. It is possible that Skripal had been played, too; perhaps he indeed wanted to go back to Russia, the country he missed badly.

Two GRU agents, supposedly experts on extraction (they allegedly sneaked the Ukrainian president Yanukovych from Ukraine after the coup and saved him from lynching mob) were sent to Salisbury to test the ground and make preparations for Skripal's return. As we had learned from videos and stills published by the Brits, the two men had been carefully followed from the beginning to the end. Meanwhile, British intelligence staged a 'poisoning' of Skripal and his daughter, and the two agents quickly returned home.

There is not a single man close to Russian intelligence who thinks that Skripal had actually been poisoned by the Russians. First, there was absolutely no reason to do it, and second, if the Russians would poison him, he would stay poisoned, like the Ukrainian Quisling Stepan Bandera was.

However, by playing this card, the British secret service convinced the Foreign Office to expel all diplomats who had contacts and connection to the exposed GRU agents. The massive expulsion of 150 diplomats caused serious damage to the Russian secret services.

Still, the Russians had no clue how the West had learned identities of so many diplomats connected to GRU. They suspected that there was a mole, and a turncoat who delivered the stuff to the enemy.

That is why Vladimir Putin decided to dare them. As he knew that the two men identified by the British service had no connection to the alleged poisoning, he asked them to appear on the RT in an interview with Ms Simonyan. By acting as village hicks, they were supposed to provoke the enemy to disclose its source. The result was unexpected: instead of revealing the name of a turncoat, the Belling Cat, a site used by the Western Secret Services for intentional leaks, explained how the men were traced by using the stolen databases. Putin's plan misfired.

The Russian secret service is not dead. Intelligence services do suffer from enemy action from time to time: the Cambridge Five infiltrated the upper reaches of the MI-5 and delivered state secrets to Moscow for a long time, but the Intelligence Service survived. Le Carre's novels were based on such a defeat of the intelligence. However they have a way to recover. Identity of their top agents remain secret, and they are concealed from the enemy's eyes.

But in order to function properly, the Russians will have to clean their stables, remove their databases from the market place and keep its citizenry reasonably safe. Lax, and not-up-to-date agents do not apparently understand the degree the internet is being watched. Considering it should have been done twenty years ago, and meanwhile a new generation of Russians has came of age, perfectly prepared to sell whatever they can for cash, it is a formidable task.

There is an additional reason to worry. Such a massive operation against Russian agents and their contacts could signal forthcoming war. In normal circumstances, states do not reveal their full knowledge of enemy agents. It made president Putin worry; and he said this week: we'll go to heaven as martyrs, the attackers will die as sinners. In face of multiple and recent threats, this end of the world is quite possible.


utu , says: October 20, 2018 at 4:23 am GMT

Great story. If told many people would believe it. But now it is kind of late. So why it wasn't told within few days or weeks of Skripal affair? Why it is the British media that has initiative and Russian media is reactive and defensive? The story that Skripal wanted to return and that two agents were lured in there should have been told right away and that it turned out be MI5 provocation should have been insinuated. And the two agents should have been interviewed on Russian media. Instead we get defensive inept and indolent Russian reactions.

I do not know what is the truth. At this point I no longer care because we will never know but it will be the British version that will be the most popular. I like most people like good stories. Unfortunately for Russia the Brits have better script writers, director and actors.

jilles dykstra , says: October 20, 2018 at 7:25 am GMT
@utu " Instead we get defensive inept and indolent Russian reactions."
The reaction 'if we want to kill somebody that somebody does not survive' I cannot see as inept and indolent.
Malaysian Truther , says: October 20, 2018 at 8:24 am GMT
Excellent piece by Israel Shamir which I think gives the correct explanation of the Skripal poisoning. This was a classic fishing, 'click bait' operation which produced a very valuable haul for Western Intelligence. The only question is whether Skripal cooperated with it – which I think he did – not knowing that both he and his daughter were meant to die. Hence Putin's rage against Skripal a few weeks ago ( calling him a scumbag traitor etc, etc) after the Russian operatives were identified because retired agents are supposed to stay retired.

Russia made a very serious mistake with the RT interview with the 2 operatives. Better not to say anything if you can't give the whole story. The GU weren't happy to show their incompetence, but compounded the original mistake with obvious lying. That was a propaganda gift to the Western media and has helped convince original disbelievers of Russian perfidy.

Russia needs to step up its game especially in the media dept.

Tom Welsh , says: October 20, 2018 at 9:38 am GMT
"Unfortunately for Russia the Brits have better script writers, director and actors".

Maybe, if your taste runs to "Dr Who" or "Carry On Spying". That's about the level of the Skripal nonsense.

If it was meant for public consumption, the British government's opinion of the British people is much lower than mine.

jilles dykstra , says: October 20, 2018 at 10:33 am GMT
@Anatoly Karlin " British or American human capital, but there are certainly consummate professionals relative to what passes for today's Russian intelligence services. "

On what this 'certainly' is based, I see no argument whatsoever.
Already a long time ago, I must admit, the CIA director had to admit to senator Moynihan that he had lied about the CIA not laying mines in Havana harbour.
A professional in espionage does not get caught.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan, 'Secrecy', New Haven 1998
Anyone acquinted with Sept 11 understands that the USA's secret army, the CIA, was involved.
Another blunder.
As far as I know British secret services never get caught.
How clever the Russians are, suppose quite clever, I for one do not think that the stupid stories about for example Skripal have any truth in them.
Until now the asserted Russian meddling in USA elections have not been proved.
Do not know of anything credible that Russian intelligence people are said to have done.
But of course Russian intelligence does exist.

Fatima Manoubia , says: October 20, 2018 at 11:18 am GMT
@Anatoly Karlin

"A related problem is that since there is now a free market economy, with many more attractive career options for talented people, the high quality people go to work in other spheres, leaving the intelligence agencies with the dregs;" .

A direct result of erasing ideology so as to erase personality cult towards highly respected people in former USSR .When you have no ideology ( or worst, share ideology with your opponent, i.e free market .) all what you have, from values to secrets, from scientific human capital to secret service officials, are out there in the global market for possible selling to the best postor .this is the principle of capitalism .. after all, it is said, almost everybody has a price .The challenge is finding out where that little bunch who have not are ..Obviously, in this scenario, the one who has the printing machine has a "little" advantage How to overcome this would be part of "what is to be done" ..

Ilyana_Rozumova , says: October 20, 2018 at 12:07 pm GMT
If the Russians wanted to kill them they would be dead. Period. It is all FN hoax.
The latest English came up with was that poison was smeared on the door handle and that both touched the door handle. Give me a break. Such a idiocy. Just imagine the exit procedure where both are touching the door knob.
And than both Russians went to garbage dump carrying the little bottle and thru it there.
What an exemplary citizen neat behavior by Russians,
All English story is such a stupid idiocy that it turns my stomach.
All we like sheep , says: October 20, 2018 at 12:14 pm GMT

However, the presence of Russian spies in Salisbury can be explained by its nearness to Porton Down, the secret British chemical lab and factory for manufacturing chemical weapons applied by the White Helmets in Syria in their false-flag operation in Douma and other places. It is possible that a resident of Salisbury (Mr Skripal?) had delivered samples from Porton Down to the Russian intelligence agents. This makes much more sense than the dubious story of Russians trying to poison an old ex-spy who did his stretch in a Russian jail.

If Mr. Skripal has been poisoned by the stuff of which he himself took samples in Porton Down, this would run completely parallel to the earlier poisoning of Mr. Alexander Valterovich Litvinenko, who also became ill because of carrying poison (polonium) around.

Eagle Eye , says: October 20, 2018 at 12:54 pm GMT

If [Yulia Skripal] had not had the courage to make this call while slipping the observance of British intelligence, she would probably be dead by now.

Both Skripals are most likely DEAD, murdered by British "intelligence" services.

The formulaic and curiously uninterested treatment of the matter in the British media seems inconsistent with the Skripals still being alive.

The article above suggests that the Skripals were unwitting or witting participants in a sting to expose Russian intelligence agents. More importantly, Sergey Skripal appears to have had a role in the creation of the DNC's "dossier" to undermine the Trump presidencey.

Whatever the background, Sergey Skripal became privy to important secrets that the Brits and their seditious allies in the U.S. Deep State do not want exposed.

macilrae , says: October 20, 2018 at 2:38 pm GMT
In the Skripal case the British have not explained why, after claiming to have found the closest approach to a smoking gun in the form of traces of novichok in that hotel room, the hotel was not then immediately quarantined.

And assuredly, with Putin's name on the line, the Russians have to do a better job if they are to refute the standing accusations – the RT interview was something of a PR disaster.

The Belloncat data, although superficially convincing, could so easily have been faked by anybody with reasonable knowledge of Russian internet infrastructure and some proficiency in Photoshop.

CalDre , says: October 20, 2018 at 3:21 pm GMT
@utu

But now it is kind of late. So why it wasn't told within few days or weeks of Skripal affair?

It's still not being told – believe it or not, Israel Shamir is not Sergei Lavrov. I hypothesized to the same state of affairs in early September re: Skripals.

But I did not know about these massive intelligence security breaches in Russia. Wow, that's huge. Even though it's not clear to me how this indicates Putin's plan misfired. If anything he got exactly what he wanted: confirmation that the "West" had access to the entire passport database. Knowing what your enemy has in intelligence is a huge win, now they can work on correcting it (hard as it may be, it would be impossible without knowing).

CalDre , says: October 20, 2018 at 3:24 pm GMT
@macilrae You are right, it could have been faked, anything can be faked today, even a video of Putin speaking (search for "deep fakes" and watch the video at https://www.wsj.com/articles/deepfake-videos-are-ruining-lives-is-democracy-next-1539595787 ).

But the fact is Russia has not really disputed the results so I am fairly confident that not only was Belling Cat right, but Israel is right, and now we have the situation where Russia knows that Western intelligence has full access to Russia's passport database.

wayfarer , says: October 20, 2018 at 3:55 pm GMT
@Tyrion 2 Had some experiences with Chinese and Mossad spies, not to mention Russian Jewish hard-drug dealers.

Here are a few examples.

There was an AMES postdoc at UCSD, a Chinese applied-math brain who had a 10-plus female handler. She'd stop by occasionally to check up on him. He always get extremely anxious when she was around. Couldn't figure out if it was fear, sexual excitement, or a combination of both.

There was an old Chinese man and his foxy young female protege, who enjoyed filming U.S. military maneuvers along the San Diego coast. I observed their operation for days.

There was a swing-shift cleaning crew in a Southern California high-tech mfg facility that was all Chinese, in an area that typically employed Latin American crews. Its head honcho was a beautiful Chinese lady. They made it their job to sort through trash bins and save papers. The feds busted them.

As far as the Mossad, I spent two years on a rental property in SD county, which was occupied by them as well. Mostly Israeli kids using the property and a local Israeli-owned vegetarian restaurant as their "scorpion den." Got fairly familiar with some of their espionage work and methods.

I don't go looking for this stuff. I'm just able to recognize it. As an empath I can read people, quite well. It's a natural gift.

Can't stomach Israel's insensitive nature. That's why you'll typically find me pointing out their self-serving bullshit.

source: https://themindunleashed.com/2013/10/30-traits-of-empath.html

FB , says: October 20, 2018 at 4:13 pm GMT
This is a pretty good article but also falls on its face at the end

Mr Shamir's 'inside' information confirms my own take on Petrov and Boshirov which I published a few days after that RT interview with Ms Simonyan I wrote this on Col Lang's blog on Sept 14

'Yeah those two 'tourists' do look the part don't they I would say they are probably GRU or something similar but nobody 'poisoned' the Skripals that's total kabuki theater another Potemkin village production from the reality masters

Something is afoot here though perhaps these two were lured to Salisbury as part of a frame up plot, perhaps by Skripal himself or perhaps the Brits caught wind of their plans to visit [on some standard spying mission, certainly not assassination] and put in motion the elaborate hoax

Everybody there protested loudly including Andrey Martyanov [Smoothie] I also added this

' I disagree with everyone here it seems these guys aren't tourists but they also didn't try to kill anyone that's stupid

It's some sort of spy game

Here's one scenario double agent Skripal makes convincing noises about flipping back someone at GRU [or some similar outfit] sends these two to Salisbury to check it out a very stupid move which is why Putin is now miffed enough to display these guys publicly and their field career surely over also a slap in the face to the silly Limeys for playing dirty pool even in the cloak and dagger game there are unwritten rules '

This is now exactly the story that Mr Shamir is presenting here but he is a day late and a dollar short

I also don't agree with his take that this is all somehow a big loss for Russian intel the Brits are the ones who have painted themselves in a corner their Skripal story is a wet paper bag waiting to fall apart the fact that they lured the Russians to Salisbury, under whatever pretext, be it Skripal or Porton Down/white helmets etc was their only small tactical victory because they could then later expose those two after months of Russian denials in order to show the Russians were in fact somehow involved

But that exposure came months later all that time the Russians would have known that Boshirov and Petrov had been captured on candid camera and would have had time to work on their countermove

Mr Shamir writes this like the game is over that is ridiculous the Brits have no way out of the Skripal hoax there was never any poisoning the original diagnosis of the Skripals in the Salisbury hospital was opioid overdose that came out in the first BBC interview with the hospital staff months after the 'poisoning'

It was not until 48 hours after the Skripals were admitted to hospital and the convenient intervention of Porton Down that the medical diagnosis was 'changed' to nerve agent poisoning

BUT this is an unsustainable story that WILL FALL APART the simple reason is medical and chemical fact both nerve agents and agricultural pesticides are based on the exact same chemical compound organophosphates

It just so happens that organophsphate poisoning is 'one of the most common causes of poisoning worldwide '

'There are nearly 3 million poisonings per year resulting in two hundred thousand deaths.'

That is the simple reason why emergency doctors EVERYWHERE are trained to recognize and treat this kind of poisoning especially in rural, agricultural areas like Salisbury

That is why it took months for media to gain access to the medical staff at that hospital the British spooks needed to do a lot of 'persuading' with medical professionals that would have wanted no part in such trickery and fakery

But this is a ticking time bomb that is bound to blow up in the faces of the very stupid Brits

So yes they pulled off a minor coup in luring those two to Salisbury but the game is very very far from over

As for Skripal he is in on it for sure as I speculated in my original comment on the matter..the Russian intel services are perfectly aware of this, yet Mr Shamir's supposedly well connected source has zero knowledge of this which tells me this source is actually a useless clown who 'knows' exactly what an internet commenter [myself] already knew two months ago

PS the fact that the Brits supposedly have all kinds of database info on the Russian intel apparatus and personnel files etc doesn't mean anything the author is a making a big deal out of this, but his story lacks meat on its bones most 'intel' is open source material anyway

As for sensitive stuff that may have been 'sold' by 'corrupt' bureaucrats one must ask if such 'info' is actually real or a clever plant providing fake info is the oldest spy trick in the book and this article simply takes for granted that such a trick would not have been employed why not ?

CalDre , says: October 20, 2018 at 5:30 pm GMT
@FB How would a fake database leak include the real data on the two GRU agents that just happened to be sent to UK? Maybe it was to make the data leak seem real?

In spycraft it is always impossible to know how deep the deception goes. That's why the very article to which you are responding started with:

It is hard to evaluate the exact measure of things in the murky world of spies and counter-spies, but it appears that the Western spies have had extraordinary success in the subterranean battle.

An acknowledgement you stubbornly ignore.

M Edward , says: October 20, 2018 at 6:01 pm GMT
None of this matters.

All governments are corrupt and have no interest in the welfare of the native populations.

All this he said she said crap is irrelevant, in the end we all will end up under a totalitarian police state run out of Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem.

Cyrano , says: October 20, 2018 at 6:06 pm GMT
I think that a clear strategy by the western "intelligence" services is starting to emerge vis-a-vis the Russians. By accusing any Russian that they can get their hands on, of being a spy, they want to scare the ordinary Russians from visiting the west, so afterwards any Russian actually caught traveling to the west can be safely assumed to be a spy – since by the calculations of the clever western intelligence – only someone who is actually a spy while at the same time being Russian, would dare to travel to the west. How smart is that?

Joking aside, it really is becoming unsafe for Russian nationals to travel to the west. Even though the west reserves the generosity of calling somebody equal only for those that are from the 3rd world – Russians clearly don't deserve such generosity.

Despite this, exceptions can be made and some unfortunate Russian soul could be accused of being equal with those highly evolved westerners and against their will can be offered protection from Mother Russia.

Pretty much like it happened to Yulia Skripal. She was only visiting her gastarbeiter father in GB, who apparently expressed desire to return to Russia, against pretty much everybody's wishes, and all of a sudden Yulia Skripal found herself bestowed with the western generosity of being declared equal, and was disappeared from public eye in order to protect her from those with whom she is clearly not equal – the Russians.

Thank God at least MI-6 proved equal to the task and discovered her equalness in a nick of time and saved her. The moral of the story: Only democracy has the power to recognize who is equal and who is not. Then, on the other hand, capitalism can keep acquiring new monikers such as "democracy" – all they want, Russia still has better quality of equality, despite ditching socialism.

FB , says: October 20, 2018 at 6:24 pm GMT
@CalDre Yes I 'stubbornly' refuse to take at face value this silly statement

it appears that the Western spies have had extraordinary success in the subterranean battle.'

Because it's not backed up by anything other than hot air as for that supposed 'data' about Petrov and Boshirov that was put out by Bellingcat

Ie mickey mouse stuff as with everything these clowns do, it is meant only to bamboozle the most utterly stupid bipeds

A very nice clue is the fact that a Russian website called 'The Insider' is Bellingcat's acknowledged partner here

If you read the article in English they claim to have 'dug' up a lot of info from various sources such the central Russian resident database and passenger check in data for their flight to the UK

Big deal that Shamir is building a mountain out of a molehill is more than clear

In fact this entire Shamir tale appears to have one subtle purpose to publicize and glorify the Bellingcat outfit

which irredeemably lost any credibility a few weeks back when illiterate poofter Eliott Higgins refused a debate challenge by the distinguished MIT physicist and former presidential advisor Ted Postol actually calling Postol an 'idiot' a move that astounded even those willing to entertain Higgins on a semi-credible level

peterAUS , says: October 20, 2018 at 6:39 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin Be that as it may, the "Western side" had (publicly known) Aldrich, Hanssen and Benghazi fiasco.

Boils down to, from the comment below:

When you have no ideology ( or worst, share ideology with your opponent, i.e free market .) all what you have, from values to secrets, from scientific human capital to secret service officials, are out there in the global market for possible selling to the best postor .this is the principle of capitalism .. after all, it is said, almost everybody has a price..

and

Obviously, in this scenario, the one who has the printing machine has a "little" advantage.

And, on top of it, in West, since the fall of The Wall, we've been having "Cooking the Intelligence to Fit the Political Agenda".

Incompetence vs blatant lying?
What a choice.

Kubarking , says: October 20, 2018 at 6:43 pm GMT
This commenter begs to differ with M. Karlin's assessment (8) of the relative competence of Russian sovok and CIA. "consummate professionals relative to what passes for today's Russian intelligence services"? Mais non.

CIA always gets caught. All they do is step on their crank, again and again. They depend not on professionalism but on what Russ Baker describes as a strange mix of ruthlessness and ineptitude. Both stem from impunity in municipal law.

For example: CIA torture and coercive interference got comprehensively exposed, worldwide, in the '70s. What happened? Don Gregg gave the Church and Pike committees an ultimatum: Back off or it's martial law. CIA got busted again in the '80s for the criminal enterprises under the Iran/Contra rubric. By then CIA had installed Tom Polgar, Former Saigon Station Chief, as chief investigator for the cognizant Senate Select committee, and Polgar assured Gregg that his hearings would not be a repeat of the abortive Pike and Church flaps.

So CIA are clowns. They can afford to be clowns because they know they can get away with it. Getting away with it is their only skill, and the only skill they need.

The persistent category error at this site is failing to realize that CIA is the state. They rule the USA.

[Oct 20, 2018] Looks like we are living in Matrix environment

The power of propaganda is such that it is able to create the artificial reality in which Western citizen live. Right out of the Matrix ;-)
As jilles dykstra noted: "The MH17 show closely resembles the Sept 11 show."
Notable quotes:
"... Suspect Ukraine was part of those who investigated. This comedy, or tragedy, has reached its top in designating the Russian officer who did it, and the intention to ask him why he did it. Russia had no motive, the west and Ukraine had, the Netherlands most objected to more sanctions against Russia, we had a considerable export, the day after the disaster no more objections. ..."
"... The MH17 show closely resembles the Sept 11 show. Memorials, remembrances, etc. Nobody yet has dared to ask prime minister Rutte what was so secret in the afternoon of the disaster that he asked vice prime minister Asscher, then on vacation in the south of France, to call him back on a land line 'so that the Russians were unable to listen in'. My darkest suspicion, Rutte knew what was going to happen. ..."
Oct 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

Likewise, the Netherlands story of Russian hacking connected with the Dutch commission investigating the tragedy of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 sounds realistic. The commission refused Russians access to its findings; this unfair dealing would force any intelligence service in the world to try and learn what had been found.

Not that it was of any use. The Dutch commission indeed found out the numbers of the missile that destroyed the jet; the Russians went through their documents and proved that this particular missile had been delivered to the Ukraine (when it was a Soviet republic) and remained there. A scoop! Now we know what happened with the jet – it was destroyed by the Ukrainians, presumably by mistake, like they downed another Russian airliner . However, the Western media ignored this scoop altogether. They decided to blame the crash on the Russians, and so they did to the end. Even if Russian intelligence were to find and deliver to the Hague the Ukrainian soldiers who operated the missile launcher, the Dutch, as loyal NATO members, would look other way.

This already happened regarding Syrian chemical attacks – the Russians and the Syrians delivered the very kids who unwillingly participated in the White Helmets' staged and filmed 'attack, directly to the OPCW. It was of no use. These guys are not after truth, they are just repeating the narrative they learned by rote.

Still, Russian intelligence worth of its name would be expected to try and obtain maximum findings in order to help the government to clear Russia's name of unjust accusations. There revelations of Russian activity weren't particularly dangerous or vicious. But while this subject had been discussed, a very painful and distressing development had been revealed.

The Western intelligence services have achieved incredible knowledge of whatever happens in Russia. They have obtained extensive databases of Russian everyday life from traffic violations and fines to passport scans, from residence registration to taxi requests, from messenger chats to emails, allowing them to trace persons and events in Russia with uncanny precision.

Many databases had been stolen and sold by small-time crooks; Western intelligences had made a concentrated effort to buy whatever is available on the black market; some bases were stolen and sold for crypto-currencies on the deep internet.

The most valuable databases had been sold by the crooks and/or traitors, while the Information Security Centre of FSB (ЦИБ ФСБ) led by colonel Sergei Mikhailov who is now being tried for the high treason, did nothing to stop the leak.

jilles dykstra , says: October 20, 2018 at 7:23 am GMT

" Likewise, the Netherlands story of Russian hacking connected with the Dutch commission investigating the tragedy of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 sounds realistic. "

How ?

Suspect Ukraine was part of those who investigated. This comedy, or tragedy, has reached its top in designating the Russian officer who did it, and the intention to ask him why he did it. Russia had no motive, the west and Ukraine had, the Netherlands most objected to more sanctions against Russia, we had a considerable export, the day after the disaster no more objections.

If it was an accident, a very lucky one, hitting a plane coming from Amsterdam.

The MH17 show closely resembles the Sept 11 show. Memorials, remembrances, etc. Nobody yet has dared to ask prime minister Rutte what was so secret in the afternoon of the disaster that he asked vice prime minister Asscher, then on vacation in the south of France, to call him back on a land line 'so that the Russians were unable to listen in'. My darkest suspicion, Rutte knew what was going to happen.

[Oct 19, 2018] Ukrainian religious shism as a part of color revolution

Attempt to split the church were pretty much predictable, as it increases the level of sovereignty of the Ukrainian state. So Poroshenko position is logical.
The problem here that there are not that many believers in eastern part of Ukraine. But there is substantial number of Uniate believers in Western part of Ukraine.
Notable quotes:
"... Could it be that the Vatican is the principal force behind the 2014 Maidan uprising in Kiev, the regime-change operation in Ukraine, as a part of its millennium-old war against Russian Orthodoxy? ..."
"... a very clear way the textbook activities of color revolution conducted by that most powerful and respectable institution of soft power, a religious university - the Ukrainian Catholic University - with its own media group, its own business academy, and funding and contacts with many "philanthropies" from the west. It's also headed by an American bishop, with a substantial provenance and respected standing in US elite circles. ..."
"... The Catholic Church is losing its hold over the masses, losing its power, and yet continues with its war against the Orthodox side of the schism, and doubles down on tools of domination, experimenting in Ukraine and some other eastern European countries with ways to control a society - a clear threat to western Europe if it could but see it. ..."
Oct 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Grieved , Oct 19, 2018 12:08:14 AM | link

Could it be that the Vatican is the principal force behind the 2014 Maidan uprising in Kiev, the regime-change operation in Ukraine, as a part of its millennium-old war against Russian Orthodoxy?

The Saker is carrying a long article by Russian author Aleksandr Voznesensky, translated heroically by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard. It's cross-posted from StalkerZone, but there are some comments on Saker, and I know we can link there, so here goes:
How the Vatican Is Preparing to Launch a Religious War in Ukraine with the Help of the Constantinople Patriarchate and the Uniates

The article is a keeper - I recommend bookmarking it for reference if nothing else. It details the events leading up to and following the Maidan, and illustrates in a very clear way the textbook activities of color revolution conducted by that most powerful and respectable institution of soft power, a religious university - the Ukrainian Catholic University - with its own media group, its own business academy, and funding and contacts with many "philanthropies" from the west. It's also headed by an American bishop, with a substantial provenance and respected standing in US elite circles.

Although the article is long, it's very readable, and well translated.

Towards the end, it poses a view that I had never considered, but which resonates with the trajectory of the more secular US empire. The Catholic Church is losing its hold over the masses, losing its power, and yet continues with its war against the Orthodox side of the schism, and doubles down on tools of domination, experimenting in Ukraine and some other eastern European countries with ways to control a society - a clear threat to western Europe if it could but see it.

I don't understand much about the recent moves of the Church in Ukraine, but anyone can see how fraught are the faithful because of these lawless acts. I often forget the old battle by Rome against Constantinople, but I have every inclination to believe it completely. This article does a splendid job of detailing it and making it very visible.

[Oct 19, 2018] You'll learn a great many things you didn't know before from Putin and Lavrov interviews. I certainly did!

Oct 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ross , Oct 18, 2018 6:08:19 PM | link

@ben | Oct 18, 2018 5:09:50 PM | 40

If you are finding your way out of the dark forest of propaganda there are two speeches by Putin that I point people toward. First, at the Munich Security Conference in 2007. Video here : Transcript here

Second, at the UN General Assembly September 2015, Video here : Transcript here .

I fail to see how any rational person could disagree with the sentiments he expresses. Warning! You may become a Putin-bot!

karlof1 , Oct 18, 2018 8:40:07 PM | link

Lots of interviews: Putin, Medvedev, and Lavrov twice. The only two I haven't linked to are Lavrov's --done!

Putin's Valdai Club transcript isn't 100% complete yet, but the summary I linked to earlier @11 has the video. The Medvedev link's @21.

You'll learn a great many things you didn't know before from these interviews. I certainly did!

[Oct 19, 2018] Oh for the day when a western leader could speak with such intellectual rigour, such philosophical integrity and with such basic common sense. Russia has a giant, we have a bunch of pygmies

Notable quotes:
"... Russia does not have the concept of a preventive strike in its doctrine for using nuclear arms. We only consider using it in response. That means that we are prepared to use nuclear weapons only when we have hard facts that a potential aggressor is striking on Russia, on Russian territory with nuclear weapons. ..."
"... They tried to do the same by attacking South Ossetia. As a result of those criminal, basically, criminal actions, Georgia has lost significant territories -- as a result of Saakashvili's actions, this is the result of his work. It would be very sad if today's Ukrainian authorities would follow in his footsteps. ..."
Oct 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Oct 18, 2018 2:41:08 PM | link

CarlD@23--

One al-Masdar News item I tried to link was about Zionist jets testing the outer envelope of Syrian airspace earlier today. Clearly they think the Ukrainian S-300 they trained against differs little from the very upgraded versions employed in Syria, which are much closer to S-400 in most abilities other than missile performance. I wonder if the Zionist pilots will draw straws to see which one of them becomes the sacrificial lamb--perhaps it ought to fall to the top Zionist air force commander.

For all Aussie Barflies, Partisangirl posts an "Honest #australian government ad about anti-encryption laws," in which they are called "Ass Access." Excellent short vid that ought to catch fire before YouTube yanks it.

S , Oct 18, 2018 3:04:23 PM | link

RT has posted the full video of the annual Valdai Club meeting with Putin. This year they've ditched the traditional panel discussion in favor of Putin answering questions solo. For those MoA regulars who don't have the time to watch it, I've transcribed a few of Putin's answers that I found interesting.

Putin on Crimea school shooting

This is most likely a result of globalization, strange as that may sound. On social media, on the internet, we see entire communities created. It all started with the well-known tragic shootings in U.S. high schools, where young people who are mentally unstable create false idols, false heroes for themselves. And that means that all of us, not only in Russia, but globally, we don't react promptly to the changing realities around the Globe, we don't create content that would be helpful and interesting for young people, and so they have to grab this surrogate of heroic images, and that leads to tragedies like this one.

Putin on nuclear retaliation

In our concept of using nuclear weapons there is no such notion as a preventive strike. And I would like to request all those present here and all those who will be reporting on what I'm saying and analyzing every word I say or using what I say for their own narrative, please take note of this fact, that Russia does not have the concept of a preventive strike in its doctrine for using nuclear arms. We only consider using it in response. That means that we are prepared to use nuclear weapons only when we have hard facts that a potential aggressor is striking on Russia, on Russian territory with nuclear weapons.

Now, this is no secret, we have prepared an early warning system, we have created it and we keep improving it. This system analyzes globally, world-wide, where launches are being made, including oceanic surface, they identify where missiles are being launched from, secondly, their trajectory and the point of impact. All this is being identified and analyzed within seconds.

And so only if we identify through that system that missiles are being launched at us, only then will we deliver a retaliatory strike, a strike in response. Only when there are missiles airborne being launched at Russia.

Of course, that would lead to a global disaster, to a nuclear catastrophe, but Russia cannot become its instigator or initiator, because we don't have a preventive strike as part of our military doctrine. Of course, once someone has launched nuclear missiles at us, it would be maybe too late to stop them, but a potential aggressor should know that there would be a retaliation, and we will get to heaven as martyrs, and our enemies will simply simply die as dogs, because they won't even have time to redeem themselves (repent). (nervous laughter in the audience)

Putin on Ukraine

Currently, the Ukrainian regime is not merely deadlocking the situation. There're conducting an anti-state and anti-public policy, the same way it was done by Saakashvili in Georgia. They tried to do the same by attacking South Ossetia. As a result of those criminal, basically, criminal actions, Georgia has lost significant territories -- as a result of Saakashvili's actions, this is the result of his work. It would be very sad if today's Ukrainian authorities would follow in his footsteps.

I hope that that would not be the case. But what has happened over the past time in social sphere, in economics? What's happening there? What we see is de-industrialization of the Ukrainian economy. There's basically no investments coming. They're just talking about investments, but nothing is taking place in reality. How can you work with economy that is always shaken by some kinds of shocks or undermined by domestic political crises? There is also war hysteria. All things have been destroyed. Where is that ship-building industry that Ukraine was proud of? Where's the aircraft-building industry, which was created by the whole Soviet Union throughout decades? What about spaceship-building? It has also been lost. And the same goes for every part of Ukrainian pride of the past. And what's happening is what I have been saying. I'm just saying it outloud here, but I wanted to ask you a rhetorical question. Why did our Western partners need that, especially the previous leadership of European Commission? Why did they have to insist on such a hard choice, hard engagement of Ukraine in the European Association? What did that give to Ukraine? The open market? So they're asking for Ukraine to bring out round timber. But it's not Siberia -- three or four years of work, and they're going to destroy all of the forests. And now Western partners are asking for GMO products in agriculture. Then we will have to close borders, because GMO is prohibited in our country. Now they're going to take the black earth soil out of Ukraine. Therefore, I believe that today's policy of Ukrainian authorities is aimed at what, what are they trading in? They're trading in Russophobia and anti-Russian sentiments, there are no more goods there. And they're being forgiven for everything for that. Because the nightmare of our Western partners is that Russia and Ukraine are cooperating in any way, because they think there will be growing competition in the world as a result of such cooperation. But we don't a claim for that, we just wanted to have normal work. Why did they have to open up Ukrainian markets without giving anything in return? And demanding from the Ukrainian government, constantly, to raise the prices for (natural) gas. They understand that the purchasing power of the population is not so high, they used to gather just peanuts for the (natural) gas industry before (in utility payments), and now they're basically gathering nothing -- all benefits, all pensions are at zero. So we're gonna have to wait for the domestic political cycle to end, and I truly hope that with a new leadership of the country we'll be capable of building at least some kind of relations and agree on something. We are prepared for that and we want that.

Ross , Oct 18, 2018 3:19:17 PM | link
re Putin's comments @29

Oh for the day when a western leader could speak with such intellectual rigour, such philosophical integrity and with such basic common sense. Russia has a giant, we have a bunch of pygmies.

[Oct 19, 2018] Putin's remarks at Valdai Club

Oct 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Oct 18, 2018 12:12:47 PM | link

Recap of Putin's remarks at Valdai Club provided by Sputnik covers lots of ground. I'll post a link to the full transcript when I find it. Yes, he does comment on Khashoggi affair, which I'll post onto that thread. Haven't seen a recap of Lavrov's remarks yet.


karlof1 , Oct 18, 2018 1:35:43 PM | link

It appears that links to al-Masdar News are now being blocked by TypePad where they weren't previously.

Medvedev interview transcript with Euronews TV shows he's learned a few pointers from Putin on not being cowed. He'll represent Russia at the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). This Summit, which few have probably heard about, is mainly a talk-shop not a deal-making venue like the G-20, but Medvedev sees it as a useful forum. No, he wasn't asked about Khashoggi, but was queried about Skripal affair.

karlof1 , Oct 18, 2018 2:41:08 PM | link S , Oct 18, 2018 3:04:23 PM | link
RT has posted the full video of the annual Valdai Club meeting with Putin. This year they've ditched the traditional panel discussion in favor of Putin answering questions solo. For those MoA regulars who don't have the time to watch it, I've transcribed a few of Putin's answers that I found interesting.

Putin on Crimea school shooting

This is most likely a result of globalization, strange as that may sound. On social media, on the internet, we see entire communities created. It all started with the well-known tragic shootings in U.S. high schools, where young people who are mentally unstable create false idols, false heroes for themselves. And that means that all of us, not only in Russia, but globally, we don't react promptly to the changing realities around the Globe, we don't create content that would be helpful and interesting for young people, and so they have to grab this surrogate of heroic images, and that leads to tragedies like this one.

Putin on nuclear retaliation

In our concept of using nuclear weapons there is no such notion as a preventive strike. And I would like to request all those present here and all those who will be reporting on what I'm saying and analyzing every word I say or using what I say for their own narrative, please take note of this fact, that Russia does not have the concept of a preventive strike in its doctrine for using nuclear arms. We only consider using it in response. That means that we are prepared to use nuclear weapons only when we have hard facts that a potential aggressor is striking on Russia, on Russian territory with nuclear weapons. Now, this is no secret, we have prepared an early warning system, we have created it and we keep improving it. This system analyzes globally, world-wide, where launches are being made, including oceanic surface, they identify where missiles are being launched from, secondly, their trajectory and the point of impact. All this is being identified and analyzed within seconds. And so only if we identify through that system that missiles are being launched at us, only then will we deliver a retaliatory strike, a strike in response. Only when there are missiles airborne being launched at Russia. Of course, that would lead to a global disaster, to a nuclear catastrophe, but Russia cannot become its instigator or initiator, because we don't have a preventive strike as part of our military doctrine. Of course, once someone has launched nuclear missiles at us, it would be maybe too late to stop them, but a potential aggressor should know that there would be a retaliation, and we will get to heaven as martyrs, and our enemies will simply simply die as dogs, because they won't even have time to redeem themselves (repent). (nervous laughter in the audience)

Putin on Ukraine

Currently, the Ukrainian regime is not merely deadlocking the situation. There're conducting an anti-state and anti-public policy, the same way it was done by Saakashvili in Georgia. They tried to do the same by attacking South Ossetia. As a result of those criminal, basically, criminal actions, Georgia has lost significant territories -- as a result of Saakashvili's actions, this is the result of his work. It would be very sad if today's Ukrainian authorities would follow in his footsteps. I hope that that would not be the case. But what has happened over the past time in social sphere, in economics? What's happening there? What we see is de-industrialization of the Ukrainian economy. There's basically no investments coming. They're just talking about investments, but nothing is taking place in reality. How can you work with economy that is always shaken by some kinds of shocks or undermined by domestic political crises? There is also war hysteria. All things have been destroyed. Where is that ship-building industry that Ukraine was proud of? Where's the aircraft-building industry, which was created by the whole Soviet Union throughout decades? What about spaceship-building? It has also been lost. And the same goes for every part of Ukrainian pride of the past. And what's happening is what I have been saying. I'm just saying it outloud here, but I wanted to ask you a rhetorical question. Why did our Western partners need that, especially the previous leadership of European Commission? Why did they have to insist on such a hard choice, hard engagement of Ukraine in the European Association? What did that give to Ukraine? The open market? So they're asking for Ukraine to bring out round timber. But it's not Siberia -- three or four years of work, and they're going to destroy all of the forests. And now Western partners are asking for GMO products in agriculture. Then we will have to close borders, because GMO is prohibited in our country. Now they're going to take the black earth soil out of Ukraine. Therefore, I believe that today's policy of Ukrainian authorities is aimed at what, what are they trading in? They're trading in Russophobia and anti-Russian sentiments, there are no more goods there. And they're being forgiven for everything for that. Because the nightmare of our Western partners is that Russia and Ukraine are cooperating in any way, because they think there will be growing competition in the world as a result of such cooperation. But we don't a claim for that, we just wanted to have normal work. Why did they have to open up Ukrainian markets without giving anything in return? And demanding from the Ukrainian government, constantly, to raise the prices for (natural) gas. They understand that the purchasing power of the population is not so high, they used to gather just peanuts for the (natural) gas industry before (in utility payments), and now they're basically gathering nothing -- all benefits, all pensions are at zero. So we're gonna have to wait for the domestic political cycle to end, and I truly hope that with a new leadership of the country we'll be capable of building at least some kind of relations and agree on something. We are prepared for that and we want that.

karlof1 , Oct 18, 2018 3:35:12 PM | link
S @29--

Thanks for doing that work! Transcript at Kremlin website's still incomplete, containing probably half of entire program. As usual, much of importance was stated. Putin's matter-of-fact delivery regarding use of nuclear weapons and the nature of those who would launch a first strike was sobering. The question today's reversed: Do Americans love their children too? Unfortunately, given what's happening here domestically, the answer provided by DC Duopoly policy makers is NO, they don't give a damn about their kids or anyone else's!

[Oct 19, 2018] For the $TRILLIONS hoovered up by Deep State and their war profiteering minions, we could have put every Afghan male of military age through Harvard Business School.

Oct 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

b , Oct 18, 2018 9:28:57 AM | link

The governor General Abdul Raziq, the police chief and the intelligence chief of Kandahar have all been killed today. Bodyguards turned their guns on them. Two U.S. soldiers were wounded. The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan was present but not hurt.

Raziq was a brut, thief, killer, drug baron and the CIA's man in Kandahar.

In 2011 Matthieu Atkins portrait him: Our Man in Kandahar
Abdul Raziq and his men have received millions of dollars' worth of U.S. training and equipment to help in the fight against the Taliban. But is our ally -- long alleged to be involved in corruption and drug smuggling -- also guilty of mass murder?


Anton Worter , Oct 18, 2018 10:05:07 AM | link

b

Been there. Done that. Kandahar is beautiful.

The United States, specifically Cheney and Petraeus and Rodham, imposed the Imperial Executor form of Federalist government upon a people who were a well-organized heirarchical society while William the Conqueror was still head chopping Anglo-Saxons in bear skins.

Cheny wrote the Afghan petroleum and strategic resources laws *in English* at the beginning of the 2001 invasion. The US imposed a new flag, a new pledge of allegiance, a new national song and even a new national currency on the Afghan people, then imposed the first imperial caesar, Karzai.

You break it, you own it!

For the $TRILLIONS hoovered up by Deep State and their war profiteering minions, we could have put every Afghan male of military age through Harvard Business School.

On to Tehran!! Lu,lu,lu,lu,lu!

Anton Worter , Oct 18, 2018 2:36:09 PM | link
12

Cheney, Petraeus and Rodham ALSO created the Federal Republican Guard ANA and ANP, goombahs, renegade hijackers and shakedown artists who, like those same ANA/ANP 'personal guards' mentioned in b's article, assassinated the governor and the others. And umm, yes, I've been on the muzzle end of those ANA/ANP thugs in an attempted kidnapping, so been there, done that.

AFA Russ' defense of William the Conqueror as some 'high point' of a Western Civilization of Red Haired Yettis, they were still head-chopping each other in England while Afghanistan ruled from East Persia to Western India, an advanced civilization far more ancient than Anglo-Saxon bearskin cave dwelling knuckle draggers, at the time.

Of course, now today we have the White Scientocratic Triumphal Exceptionalist Civilization and its Miracle of the Two Planes and Three Towers to prove it, even if Johnny and Jillian can't read, write or do their ciphers.

[Oct 19, 2018] This is about spreading our liberal values" (translation: the American people don't need to be informed about the region are changes are non-negotiable).

Oct 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kadath , Oct 18, 2018 5:49:18 PM | link

just watched the Atlantic council's Championing the Frontlines of Freedom: Erasing the "Grey Zone", only interesting thing to come out of the conference was Kurt Volker's (US Special Representative for Ukraine) comments;

  1. Escalating sanctions vs Russia every 1-2 months there will be new & expanded sanctions on Russia.
  2. Stable borders should not be a requirement to be a part of NATO, "Occupied" states can be taken into NATO and receive support from NATO to liberate themselves (he stressed that the US would not be escalate the conflict, but how the hell could anyone guarantee that).
  3. Opposition to Russia is now bipartisan, regardless of the Nov elections, US Senate & Congress are unified against Russia
  4. when asked how "We" (the Atlantic council) can make political elites care about Baltic states (plus Ukraine/Georgia), WITHOUT knowing the historical and political details of these states he, unsurprisingly answered "this is about spreading our liberal values" (translation: the American people don't need to be informed about the region are changes are non-negotiable). the long and the short of the 3 hour conference was the new cold war vs Russia will continue indefinitely, I would say this is the start of another generation conflict that will last 10-20 years at least

Mark2 , Oct 18, 2018 5:55:03 PM | link

Ok i'l stick my neck out !
It's over for America ! That's my assessment their day is d d d done ! Am basing my view on the worldwide picture politically, the mind set of the general public I talk to, the many sites I visit on the net left and right. Plus overall wisdom and overstanding (a Rasta thing) Empires fall, this one has more than had its day. If it was a buseness what does it produce ? And at what cost? It just robs other peoples hard earned resources and assets! For all it's wealth it treats it's own public like dirt milking them dry. It's intelligent public it curupt's. Nature abbor's greed, and wil correct that imbalance.

I think Putin understands this, and understands as I do 'desperate people do desperate things' hence his speech.
Censoring the truth on a massive network like the internet is truly impossible and plainly desperate !!!

[Oct 19, 2018] Merkel Coalition Gets Overdue Spanking in Bavaria but 5 years Too Late to Save Germany

Oct 19, 2018 | www.strategic-culture.org

In Bavaria's state elections, German voters sent a powerful message to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has been harshly criticized for opening up Germany's borders to the free flow of migration. But strangely enough the pro-immigrant Green Party took a solid second place.

Merkel and her fragile coalition, comprised of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Social Democrats Party (SPD) and Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) suffered staggering losses in Bavaria on Sunday, losses not experienced by the two powerhouse conservative parties for many decades.

The CSU won just 37.3 percent of the vote, down 12.1 percent from 2013, thus failing to secure an absolute majority. It marked the worst showing conservative Christian Bavaria, where the CSU has ruled practically unilaterally since 1957. But the political mood in Germany has changed, and Merkel's so-called sister party will now be forced to seek a coalition to cover its losses.

Meanwhile, the left-leaning Social Democrats (SPD), in an awkward alliance with their conservative allies, secured just 9.5 percent of the Bavarian vote, down almost 10.9 percent from its 2013 showing.

The dismal results were not altogether unexpected. CSU leader Horst Seehofer has regularly clashed with Angela Merkel over the question of her loose refugee policies, which saw 1.5 million migrants pour into Germany unmolested in 2015 alone. In January 2016, when the number of arrivals had peaked, Bavaria grabbed headlines as Peter Dreier, mayor of the district of Landshut, sent a busload of refugees to Berlin, saying his city could not handle any more new arrivals.

Yet, despite such expressions of frustration, and even anger, Germany, perhaps out of some fear of reverting back to atavistic nationalistic tendencies that forever lurks in the background of the German psyche, has not come out in full force against the migrant invasion, which seems to have been forced upon the nation without their approval. As with the young girl in the video below, however, some Germans have come forward to express their strong reservations with the trend.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/uGfP8CyJAhg

In general, however, the German people, in direct contradiction to the stereotype of them being an orderly and logical people, do not seem overly concerned with the prospects of their tidy country being overrun by the chaos of undocumented and illegal migrants. This much seemed to be confirmed by the strong showing of the pro-immigration Green Party, which took second place with 18.3 percent of the votes, a 9 percent increase since the last elections.

Katharina Schulze, the 33-year old co-leader of the Bavarian Greens, told reporters "Bavaria needs a political party that solves the problems of the people and not create new ones over and over again."

However, a political platform that seems fine with open borders seems to contradict Schulze's claim to not creating new problems "over and over again." Today, thanks to Merkel's disastrous refugee non-plan, which the Greens applaud, every fifth person in Germany comes from immigration, a figure that will naturally increase over time, placing immense pressure on the country's already overloaded social welfare programs, not to mention disrupting the country's social cohesiveness.

Thus Schulze may find it an impossible challenge "solving the problems of the people," one of the vaguest campaign pledges I have ever heard, while embracing a staunchly refugee-friendly platform that seems doomed to ultimate disaster.

Indeed, Germany appears to be on a collision course between those who accept the idea of being the world's welcome center for refugees, and those who think Germany must not only close its borders, but perhaps even send back many refugees. After all, it has been proven that many of these new arrivals are in reality ' economic migrants' who arrived in Europe not due to any persecution back home, but rather from the hope of improving their lot in life. While it's certainly no crime to seek out economic opportunities, it becomes a real problem when it comes at the expense of the domestic population.

From an outsider's perspective, I cannot fathom how it is possible that Angela Merkel is still in power. Although there is no term limit on the chancellorship, people must still go to the polls and vote for this woman and the CDU, which the majority continues to do – despite everything.

In a search for answers, I found an explanation by one Arne Trautmann, a German lawyer from Munich.

"I think the answer lies in German psychology. We do not like instability. We had our experience with it (hyperinflation, wars and such) and it did not work very well. Angela Merkel offers such stability. Simply because she has been around for so long."

Still, that answer just drags up more questions that perhaps only the Germans can answer. After all, if the German people "do not like instability," then the specter of their borders being violated on a daily basis such be simply unacceptable to them. Perhaps I am missing something.

In any case, there was a consolation prize of sorts in the Bavarian elections, as the anti-immigrant AfD party took fourth place (behind the Free Voters) with 10.2 percent of the votes, an increase of 10 percent from their 2013 performance.

This will give the AfD parliamentary power in the state assembly for the first time, which should work to put the brakes on illegal migrants entering the country. For the future of Germany, it may be the last hope.

[Oct 19, 2018] >UK press riddled with spooks, conduits for intelligence agencies keen to score one for the Empire -- RT Op-ed

Notable quotes:
"... A 2000 article reveals Coughlin was fed material by MI6 for years, which he then turned into Telegraph news articles ..."
"... There is - or has been until recently - a very active programme by the secret agencies to colour what appears in the British press, called, if publications by various defectors can be believed, information operations, or 'I/Ops'. ..."
"... A colourful example of the way these techniques expanded to meet the exigencies of the hour came in the early 70s, when the readers of the News of the World were treated to a front-page splash, "Russian sub in IRA plot sensation", complete with aerial photograph of the conning tower of a Soviet sub awash off the coast of Donegal ..."
"... he [Coughlin] regaled [the newspaper's] readers with the dramatic story of the son of Libya's Colonel Gadafy (sic) and his alleged connection to a currency counterfeiting plan. The story [implicating Saif Gaddafi] was falsely attributed to a 'British banking official.' In fact, it had been given to him by officers of MI6, who, it transpired, had been supplying Coughlin with material for years. ..."
"... It could well be, therefore, that the unfortunate Mr Khashoggi has become the victim of the region's dangerous and conflicting currents. ..."
"... The incestuous relationship between the intelligence services and sections of the [British] media is, of course, nothing new. The connection is notoriously close in the case of foreign correspondents Sandy Gall, the ITN reporter and newsreader, boasted of his work for MI6 in Afghanistan during the 1980s ..."
"... After US Senate hearings in 1975 revealed the extent of CIA recruitment of both American and British journalists, 'sources' let it be known that half the foreign staff of a British daily [newspaper] were on the MI6 payroll. ..."
"... Like this story? Share it with a friend! ..."
Oct 19, 2018 | www.rt.com

John Wight John Wight has written for a variety of newspapers and websites, including the Independent, Morning Star, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, London Progressive Journal, and Foreign Policy Journal. Published time: 18 Oct, 2018 13:16 Edited time: 18 Oct, 2018 14:44 Get short URL UK press riddled with spooks, conduits for intelligence agencies keen to score one for the Empire © Reuters / Toby Melville That a free press underpins British democracy is an enduring myth that has been allowed to go unchallenged, up there with unicorns and the Loch Ness Monster. Because if a clutch of right-wing reactionary billionaires owning the bulk of a nation's major newspaper titles and media constitutes a free press, the word 'free' has been stripped and shorn of all meaning.

Yet, while the aforementioned – let's be kind here – 'anomaly' has long been understood by anyone of adult years with the ability to put their underpants on the right way round in the morning, the extent to which the British establishment press and media has been penetrated by intelligence services and acts as a conduit for their agenda is less well known.

Read more Guardian columnist Owen Jones © REUTERS / Simon Dawson Telegraph defence editor savaged by Owen Jones over Saudi-links, deletes Twitter account

That it is less well known remains one of life's great mysteries nonetheless. Scratch your average British journalist and you have yourself a frustrated spook; someone who would be on their toes at the sound of a car door slamming shut in the street, while harbouring fantasies of coming across Vladimir Putin in a dark alley one night and scoring one for the Empire.

Take Con Coughlin, for example, Defence Editor at The Daily Telegraph (more colloquially and accurately known as The Daily Torygraph). Coughlin is a product of a private school production line that has unleashed more knaves on the world than spittle on a dentist's chair. While his outing as an MI6 asset may have been a long time coming, now that it has, it marks yet another nail in the coffin of a media class whose relationship to truth and objectivity belongs in the box marked non-existent.

Though I hold no candle for Guardian columnist, Owen Jones, it remains a truism that even a blind chicken gets a piece of corn sometimes; and on this basis Jones has rendered us a service in outing Coughlin in a recent series of devastating tweets. Also providing an invaluable service in helping join the dots of the story is The Canary , independent left-wing news and views web journal that currently boasts a larger readership than a growing section of the mainstream media.

As it turns out, Mr Coughlin's links to MI6 (Britain's foreign intelligence agency) go back some time. As Jones writes: " A 2000 article reveals Coughlin was fed material by MI6 for years, which he then turned into Telegraph news articles ."

The Guardian article Jones is referring to was published at a time when the centre-left newspaper was a worthy source of information and analysis, home to the likes of Seumas Milne, one of Britain's finest-ever columnists currently plying his trade as chief press adviser to Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. It just goes to show that whoever said evolution only moves in one direction had never taken the time to follow the trajectory of The Guardian in recent years.

But that's another story.

We are informed in the aforesaid 2000 Guardian article that " There is - or has been until recently - a very active programme by the secret agencies to colour what appears in the British press, called, if publications by various defectors can be believed, information operations, or 'I/Ops'. "

Further on: " A colourful example of the way these techniques expanded to meet the exigencies of the hour came in the early 70s, when the readers of the News of the World were treated to a front-page splash, "Russian sub in IRA plot sensation", complete with aerial photograph of the conning tower of a Soviet sub awash off the coast of Donegal ."

Read more Thames House, the headquarters of the British Security Service (MI5) in London © Peter Nicholls British intelligence now officially a by-word for organized crime

This story was of course entirely bogus, as was one published in the Sunday Telegraph, sister paper of the aforementioned Daily Telegraph, over two decades later, written by – you guessed it – Con Coughlin.

From the article: " he [Coughlin] regaled [the newspaper's] readers with the dramatic story of the son of Libya's Colonel Gadafy (sic) and his alleged connection to a currency counterfeiting plan. The story [implicating Saif Gaddafi] was falsely attributed to a 'British banking official.' In fact, it had been given to him by officers of MI6, who, it transpired, had been supplying Coughlin with material for years. "

Coughlin, by the way, is also revealed, according to Jones, to have been an eager shill for the Saudis.

In the wake of the disappearance of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, whom according to Turkish authorities was brutally murdered and dismembered by a group of Saudis, who, equipped with a bone saw, flew in to the country from the Kingdom to carry out the deed especially, Coughlin went to work shrouding matters in a fog of benign uncertainty. Consider: " It could well be, therefore, that the unfortunate Mr Khashoggi has become the victim of the region's dangerous and conflicting currents. " Ahem indeed.

Coughlin also saw fit to describe current Saudi tyrant - sorry Crown Prince - Muhammad Bin Salman (affectionately known as MbS) as a " human dynamo ," after he was afforded the privilege of a sit down interview.

At the risk of focusing too much on Mr Coughlin and his work, however, we are obliged to make the point that he is merely one among many British establishment journalists who have eagerly embraced the role of conduit of the nation's intelligence services over the years.

In his classic work on the 1984-85 miners' strike, The Enemy Within, Seumas Milne writes: " The incestuous relationship between the intelligence services and sections of the [British] media is, of course, nothing new. The connection is notoriously close in the case of foreign correspondents Sandy Gall, the ITN reporter and newsreader, boasted of his work for MI6 in Afghanistan during the 1980s ."

Milne, in the same passage, goes on to reveal how " After US Senate hearings in 1975 revealed the extent of CIA recruitment of both American and British journalists, 'sources' let it be known that half the foreign staff of a British daily [newspaper] were on the MI6 payroll. "

So there you have it, the murky relationship between British intelligence and the country's establishment journalists is one that reaches far back in time and continues in the present, as redoubtable and reliable as Big Ben itself.

Read more Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends the Future Investment Initiative on October 24, 2017. © Reuters / Hamad I Mohammed Khashoggi case causes media exodus from major Saudi investment conference as CNN, CNBC, FT quit

In fact considering where we are, the indefensible positions taken by prominent newspaper journalists and columnists at not only The Telegraph but also The Times and, yes, The Guardian over Russia, Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela et al. – in other words, the way that almost to a man and woman they have fallen into line behind their own government when it comes to who the officially designated enemies of the moment should be – the question we need to ask ourselves is not how many of them might be in the pay of MI6 and MI5, but how many of them might not?

In fact considering where we are, the indefensible positions taken by prominent newspaper journalists and columnists at not only The Telegraph but also The Times and, yes, The Guardian over Russia, Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela et al. – in other words, the way in which they have fallen into line behind their own government when it comes to who the officially designated enemies of the moment should be – the question we need to ask ourselves is not how many of them might be in the pay of MI6 and MI5, but how many of them might not?

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

[Oct 19, 2018] It appears that somebody tired to create Saudigate out of this insident. This potentially is good news for Iran and Russia. Perhaps not so good for Trump and Saidis. Israel may not be happy

Oct 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Pft , Oct 18, 2018 12:29:54 AM | link

TheBag @72

The President has authority under the Global Magnitsky Act to impose sanctions against anyone who has committed a human rights violation. Congress has already requested a HR investigation which Trump must act on and report to them within 4 months

It appears my prediction of Saudi gate may be right. This potentially is good news for Iran and Russia. Perhaps not so good for Trump and Saidis. Israel may not be happy. Perhaps his wife's plane troubles were a warning shot to remind him who is boss. Who knows ?

Haleys resignation beginning to make sense now. The House of Trump and House of Saud may soon fall, and Bibi wont be happy losing Trump and MBS. We all know what they are capable of to get things back on track

Why did the media held back on this so for so long?

Yemen (and Gaza).

CGTN & Al-Jazeera are the only global news outlets consistently and regularly reporting on the US facilitated genocides in Yemen and Jewish-occupied Palestine/Gaza.

The never-ending Khashoggi non-mystery mystery keeps Yemen & Gaza out of the Jew-controlled Western Media headlines. Saudi Barbaria and "Israel" are natural allies because each of them is an artificial Western political construct with a cowardly and incompetent military apparatus and an anti-heroic penchant for slaughtering undefended civilians - for psychopathic reasons.
--------
Talking about psychopathy...
Oz's Christian Zionist PM, Sco Mo, is blathering about following Trump's lead and moving Oz's Embassy in "Israel" to Jerusalem. Sc Mo, who has never had an original idea in his life, still hasn't woken up to the fact that Trump's Jerusalem gambit was a trap for Bibi. So it's hilarious that Sco Mo The Unoriginal, is planning to take a flying leap into the same trap!
Anyone with more than half a brain would realise that...
1. No civilised country has followed Trump's lead.
2. Trump can, and will, reverse his (illegal) Jerusalem decision out of a 'new-found respect' for International Law.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 18, 2018 12:14:08 AM | 83

Posted by: JNDillard | Oct 17, 2018 11:59:34 PM | 81


https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-saudi-arabia-payment-20181017-story.html

Posted by: Krollchem | Oct 17, 2018 11:19:22 PM | 79

Whoever is ultimately behind this campaign (which I suspect is a loose association of interest groups spread throughout SA, Turkey, London citi, wall street, whoever) they will not stop until MbS is paraded through the streets in chains or at least his head at the end of a lance. At this point the only question how many days will it take to see his head on a pike?

Posted by: ToivoS | Oct 17, 2018 11:24:27 PM | 80

"Their target that night: Anssaf Ali Mayo, the local leader of the Islamist political party Al-Islah. The UAE considers Al-Islah to be the Yemeni branch of the worldwide Muslim Brotherhood, which the UAE calls a terrorist organization. Many experts insist that Al-Islah, one of whose members won the Nobel Peace Prize, is no terror group. They say it's a legitimate political party that threatens the UAE not through violence but by speaking out against its ambitions in Yemen."

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/aramroston/mercenaries-assassination-us-yemen-uae-spear-golan-dahlan

Posted by: Krollchem | Oct 17, 2018 10:26:46 PM | 77

Posted by: Gary Weglarz | Oct 17, 2018 10:22:19 PM | 76

[Oct 19, 2018] I just love the fact that Trump is publicly calling out Merkel on this; she has been nothing but two-faced and hypocritical on the Russia question.

Notable quotes:
"... I just love the fact that Trump is publicly calling out Merkel on this; she has been nothing but two-faced and hypocritical on the Russia question. ..."
"... She was one of the ones who pushed the EU hard, for example, to sanction Russia in the wake of the coup in Ukraine (which she had also supported). And then she pushed the EU hard to kill off the South Stream pipeline, which would have gone through SE Europe into Austria. She used the excuse of 'EU solidarity' against 'Russian aggression' to accomplish that only to then turn around and start building yet another pipeline out of Russia and straight into Germany! The Bulgarians et al. must feel like real idiots now. It seems Berlin wants to control virtually all the pipelines into Europe. ..."
Oct 19, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Seamus Padraig , , October 18, 2018 at 2:14 pm

I just love the fact that Trump is publicly calling out Merkel on this; she has been nothing but two-faced and hypocritical on the Russia question.

She was one of the ones who pushed the EU hard, for example, to sanction Russia in the wake of the coup in Ukraine (which she had also supported). And then she pushed the EU hard to kill off the South Stream pipeline, which would have gone through SE Europe into Austria. She used the excuse of 'EU solidarity' against 'Russian aggression' to accomplish that only to then turn around and start building yet another pipeline out of Russia and straight into Germany! The Bulgarians et al. must feel like real idiots now. It seems Berlin wants to control virtually all the pipelines into Europe.

So, three cheers for Trump embarrassing Merkel on this issue!

[Oct 18, 2018] Germany Clashes With The US Over Energy Geopolitics

Notable quotes:
"... This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 1018 donors have already invested in our efforts to combat corruption and predatory conduct, particularly in the financial realm. Please join us and participate via our donation page , which shows how to give via check, credit card, debit card, or PayPal. Read about why we're doing this fundraiser and what we've accomplished in the last year, and our current goal, extending our reach . ..."
"... By Tsvetana Paraskova, a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm. Originally published at OilPrice ..."
"... As long as NATO exists, Washington will continue to use it to drive a wedge between the EU and Russia. Merkel foolishly went along with all of Washington's provocations against Russia in Ukraine, even though none of it benefited Germany's national interest. ..."
"... She did indeed go along with all the provocations and she sat back and said nothing while Putin railed against US sanctions. Yet Putin didn't blame Germany or the EU. Instead he said that the Germany/EU is currently trapped by the US and would come to their senses in time. He is leaving the door open. ..."
"... What US LNG exports? The US is a net importer of NG from Canada. US 2018 NG consumption and production was 635.8 and 631.6 Mtoe respectively (BP 2018 Stats). Even the BP 2018 Statistical Review of World Energy has an asterisks by US LNG exports which says, "Includes re-exports" which was 17.4 BCM or 15 Mtoe for 2018. ..."
"... Natural gas negotiations involve long term contracts so there are lots of money to exchange ensuring business for many years to come. Such a contract has recently been signed between Poland's PGNiG and American Venture Global Calcasieu & Venture Global Plaquemines LNG (Lousiana). According to the Poland representative this gas would be 20% cheaper than Russian gas. (if one has to believe it). Those contracts are very secretive in their terms. This contract in particular is still dependent on the termination of liquefaction facilities in Lousiana. ..."
"... IIRC, the US is pushing LNG because fracking has resulted in a lot of NG coincident with oil production. They've got so much NG coming out of fracked oil wells that they don't know what to do with it and at present, a lot of it just gets flared, or leaks into the atmosphere. ..."
"... So they turn to bullying the EU to ignore the price advantage that Russia is able to offer, due to the economics of pipeline transport over liquefaction and ocean transport, and of course the issues of reliability and safety associated with ocean transport, and high-pressure LNG port facilities compared to pipelines. ..."
"... Trump will probably offer the EU 'free' LNG port facilities financed by low-income American tax-payers, and cuts to 'entitlements', all designed to MAGA. ..."
"... It seems we have been maneuvering for a while to raise our production of LNG and oil (unsustainably) in order to become an important substitute supplier to the EU countries. It sort of looks like our plan is to reduce EU opposition to our attacking Russia. Then we will have China basically surrounded. This is made easier with our nuclear policy of "we can use nuclear weapons with acceptable losses." What could go wrong? ..."
"... The United States should lead by example. Telling Germany not to import Russian gas is rich considering the U.S. also imports from Russia. https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2018/07/12/russia-was-a-top-10-supplier-of-u-s-oil-imports-in-2017/ ..."
"... I just love the fact that Trump is publicly calling out Merkel on this; she has been nothing but two-faced and hypocritical on the Russia question. ..."
"... She was one of the ones who pushed the EU hard, for example, to sanction Russia in the wake of the coup in Ukraine (which she had also supported). And then she pushed the EU hard to kill off the South Stream pipeline, which would have gone through SE Europe into Austria. She used the excuse of 'EU solidarity' against 'Russian aggression' to accomplish that only to then turn around and start building yet another pipeline out of Russia and straight into Germany! The Bulgarians et al. must feel like real idiots now. It seems Berlin wants to control virtually all the pipelines into Europe. ..."
Oct 18, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 1018 donors have already invested in our efforts to combat corruption and predatory conduct, particularly in the financial realm. Please join us and participate via our donation page , which shows how to give via check, credit card, debit card, or PayPal. Read about why we're doing this fundraiser and what we've accomplished in the last year, and our current goal, extending our reach .

Yves here. It's not hard to see that this tiff isn't just about Russia. The US wants Germany to buy high-priced US LNG.

By Tsvetana Paraskova, a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm. Originally published at OilPrice

The United States and the European Union (EU) are at odds over more than just the Iran nuclear deal – tensions surrounding energy policy have also become a flashpoint for the two global powerhouses.

In energy policy, the U.S. has been opposing the Gazprom-led and highly controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline project , which will follow the existing Nord Stream natural gas pipeline between Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea. EU institutions and some EU members such as Poland and Lithuania are also against it, but one of the leaders of the EU and the end-point of the planned project -- Germany -- supports Nord Stream 2 and sees the project as a private commercial venture that will help it to meet rising natural gas demand.

While the U.S. has been hinting this year that it could sanction the project and the companies involved in it -- which include not only Gazprom but also major European firms Shell, Engie, OMV, Uniper, and Wintershall -- Germany has just said that Washington shouldn't interfere with Europe's energy choices and policies.

"I don't want European energy policy to be defined in Washington," Germany's Foreign Ministry State Secretary Andreas Michaelis said at a conference on trans-Atlantic ties in Berlin this week.

Germany has to consult with its European partners regarding the project, Michaelis said, and noted, as quoted by Reuters, that he was "certainly not willing to accept that Washington is deciding at the end of the day that we should not rely on Russian gas and that we should not complete this pipeline project."

In July this year, U.S. President Donald Trump said at a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that "Germany is a captive of Russia because they supply." Related: The Implications Of A Fractured U.S., Saudi Alliance

"Germany is totally controlled by Russia, because they will be getting from 60 to 70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline," President Trump said.

Germany continues to see Nord Stream 2 as a commercial venture, although it wants clarity on the future role of Ukraine as a transit route, German government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said last month.

Nord Stream 2 is designed to bypass Ukraine, and Ukraine fears it will lose transit fees and leverage over Russia as the transit route for its gas to western Europe.

Poland, one of the most outspoken opponents of Nord Stream 2, together with the United States, issued a joint statement last month during the visit of Polish President Andrzej Duda to Washington, in which the parties said , "We will continue to coordinate our efforts to counter energy projects that threaten our mutual security, such as Nord Stream 2."

The United States looks to sell more liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the European market, including to Germany , to help Europe diversify its energy supply, which is becoming increasingly dependent on Russian supplies. Related: High Prices Benefit Iran Despite Lost Oil Exports

The president of the Federation of German Industry (BDI), Dieter Kempf, however, told German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung last month, that he had "a big problem with a third country interfering in our energy policy," referring to the United States. German industry needs Nord Stream 2, and dropping the project to buy U.S. LNG instead wouldn't make any economic sense, he said. U.S. LNG currently is not competitive on the German market and would simply cost too much, according to Kempf.

The lower price of Russian pipeline gas to Europe is a key selling point -- and one that Gazprom uses often. Earlier this month Alexey Miller, Chairman of Gazprom's Management Committee, said at a gas forum in Russia that "Although much talk is going on about new plans for LNG deliveries, there is no doubt that pipeline gas supplies from Russia will always be more competitive than LNG deliveries from any other part of the world. It goes without saying."

The issue with Nord Stream 2 -- which is already being built in German waters -- is that it's not just a commercial project. Many in Europe and everyone in the United States see it as a Russian political tool and a means to further tighten Russia's grip on European gas supplies, of which it already holds more than a third. But Germany wants to discuss the future of this project within the European Union, without interference from the United States.


Alex V , October 18, 2018 at 4:43 am

Thankfully liquefying gas and then reconstituting it uses no additional energy, and transportation into major harbors is perfectly safe.

Capitalism inaction!

Quentin , October 18, 2018 at 6:23 am

Maybe the US thinks it will also have to go out of its way to accommodate Germany and the EU by offering to construct the necessary infrastructure in Europe for the import of LNG at exorbitant US prices. MAGA. How long would that take?

disillusionized , October 18, 2018 at 7:03 am

The question is, is it inevitable that the EU/US relationship goes sour?

Continentalism is on the rise generally, and specifically with brexit, couple this with the geographical gravity of the EU-Russia relationship makes a EU-Russia "alliance" make more sense than the EU-US relationship.

Ever since the death of the USSR and the accession of the eastern states to the EU, the balance of power in the EU-US relationship has moved in ways it seems clear that the US is uncomfortable with.

To all of this we must add the policy differences between the US and the EU – see the GDPR and the privacy shield for example.

I have said it before – the day Putin dies (metaphorically or literally) is a day when the post war order in Europe may die, and we see the repairing of the EU-Russia relationship (by which I mean the current regime in Russia will be replaced with a new generation far less steeped in cold war dogma and way more interested in the EU).

NotReallyHere , October 18, 2018 at 1:23 pm

"The post war order in Europe will doe and we see the repairing of the EU/Russian relationship "

I think you mean the German/Russian relationship and that repair has been under way for more than a decade. The post war order is very very frayed already and looks close to a break point.

This Nord Stream 2 story illustrates more than most Germany's attitudes to the EU and to the world at large. Germany used its heft within the EU to 1 ) get control of Russian gas supplies into Central Europe (Germany insisted that Poland could not invest in the project apparently and refused a landing point for the pipeline in Poland. Instead it offered a flow back valve from Germany into Poland that the Germans would control) 2) thumb its nose at the US while outwardly declaring friendship through the structures provided by EU and NATO membership.

Even Obama suspected the Germans of duplicity (the Merkel phone hacking debacle).

It's is this repairing relationship that will set the tone for Brexit, the Ukraine war, relations between Turkey and EU and eventually the survival of the EU and NATO. The point ? Germany doesn't give a hoot about the EU it served its purpose of keeping Germany anchored to the west and allowing German reunification to solidify while Russia was weak. Its usefulness is in the past now, however from a German point of view.

Seamus Padraig , October 18, 2018 at 2:01 pm

Putin dying isn't going to change Washington. As long as NATO exists, Washington will continue to use it to drive a wedge between the EU and Russia. Merkel foolishly went along with all of Washington's provocations against Russia in Ukraine, even though none of it benefited Germany's national interest.

Come to think of it, maybe Merkel dying off would improve German-Russian relations

NotReallyHere , October 18, 2018 at 4:49 pm

She did indeed go along with all the provocations and she sat back and said nothing while Putin railed against US sanctions. Yet Putin didn't blame Germany or the EU. Instead he said that the Germany/EU is currently trapped by the US and would come to their senses in time. He is leaving the door open.

Germany won't lose if NATO and the EU break up. It would free itself from a range increasingly dis-functional entities that, in its mind, restrict its ability to engage in world affairs.

Susan the other , October 18, 2018 at 3:02 pm

I think you are right. Russia and Germany are coming together and there's nothing we can do about it because "private commercial venture." Poetic justice.

And the economic link will lead to political links and we will have to learn a little modesty. The ploy we are trying to use, selling Germany US LNG could not have been anything more than a stopgap supply line until NG from the ME came online but that has been our achilles heel.

It feels like even if we managed to kick the Saudis out and took over their oil and gas we still could no longer control geopolitics. The cat is out of the bag and neoliberalism has established the rules. And it's pointless because there is enough gas and oil and methane on this planet to kill the human race off but good.

NotReallyHere , October 18, 2018 at 5:00 pm

@Susan

That exactly right. and Gerhard Schroder has been developing those political relationships for more than a decade. The political/economic links already go very deep on both sides.

if the rapprochement is occurring, Brexit, the refugee crisis and Italy's approaching debt crisis are all just potential catalysts for an inevitable breakup. Germany likely views these as potential opportunities to direct European realignment rather than existential crises to be tackled.

JimL , October 18, 2018 at 7:08 am

What US LNG exports? The US is a net importer of NG from Canada. US 2018 NG consumption and production was 635.8 and 631.6 Mtoe respectively (BP 2018 Stats). Even the BP 2018 Statistical Review of World Energy has an asterisks by US LNG exports which says, "Includes re-exports" which was 17.4 BCM or 15 Mtoe for 2018.

Ignacio , October 18, 2018 at 7:49 am

The US produces annually about 33,000,000 million cubic feet and consumes 27.000.000 million according to the EiA . So there is an excess to export indeed.

Synoia , October 18, 2018 at 3:23 pm

Leaving 6,000,000 million to be exported, until the shale gas no longer flows. How farsighted.

Ignacio , October 18, 2018 at 7:42 am

Natural gas negotiations involve long term contracts so there are lots of money to exchange ensuring business for many years to come. Such a contract has recently been signed between Poland's PGNiG and American Venture Global Calcasieu & Venture Global Plaquemines LNG (Lousiana). According to the Poland representative this gas would be 20% cheaper than Russian gas. (if one has to believe it). Those contracts are very secretive in their terms. This contract in particular is still dependent on the termination of liquefaction facilities in Lousiana.

I don't know much about NG markets in Poland but according to Eurostat prices for non-household consumers are very similar in Poland, Germany, Lithuania or Spain.

PlutoniumKun , October 18, 2018 at 10:36 am

Gas contracts are usually linked to oil prices. A lot of LNG is traded as a fungible product like oil, but that contract seems different – most likely its constructed this way because of the huge capital cost of the LNG facilities, which make very little economic sense for a country like Poland which has pipelines criss-crossing it. I suspect the terminals have more capacity that the contract quantity – the surplus would be traded at market prices, which would no doubt be where the profit margin is for the supplier (I would be deeply sceptical that unsubsidised LNG could ever compete with Russia gas, the capital costs involved are just too high).

Watt4Bob , October 18, 2018 at 8:26 am

IIRC, the US is pushing LNG because fracking has resulted in a lot of NG coincident with oil production. They've got so much NG coming out of fracked oil wells that they don't know what to do with it and at present, a lot of it just gets flared, or leaks into the atmosphere.

IMO, the folks responsible for this waste are as usual, ignoring the 'externalities', the costs to the environment of course, but also the cost of infrastructure and transport related to turning this situation to their advantage.

So they turn to bullying the EU to ignore the price advantage that Russia is able to offer, due to the economics of pipeline transport over liquefaction and ocean transport, and of course the issues of reliability and safety associated with ocean transport, and high-pressure LNG port facilities compared to pipelines.

This doesn't even take into account the possibility that the whole fracked gas supply may be a short-lived phenomenon, associated with what we've been describing here as basically a finance game.

Trump will probably offer the EU 'free' LNG port facilities financed by low-income American tax-payers, and cuts to 'entitlements', all designed to MAGA.

PlutoniumKun , October 18, 2018 at 10:39 am

Just to clarify, fracked gas is not usually a by-product of oil fracking – the geological beds are usually distinct (shale gas tends to occur at much deeper levels than tight oil). Gas can however be a byproduct of conventional oil production. 'wet' gas (propane, etc), can be a by-product of either.

Synapsid , October 18, 2018 at 11:14 am

PlutoniumKun,

It's common for oil wells both fracked and conventional to produce natural gas (NG) though not all do. The fracked wells in the Permian Basin are producing a great deal of it.

Natural gas does indeed form at higher temperatures than oil does and that means at greater depth but both oil and NG migrate upward. Exploration for petroleum is hunting for where it gets captured at depth, not for where it's formed. Those source rocks are used as indicators of where to look for petroleum trapped stratigraphically higher up.

Steve , October 18, 2018 at 8:53 am

It seems we have been maneuvering for a while to raise our production of LNG and oil (unsustainably) in order to become an important substitute supplier to the EU countries. It sort of looks like our plan is to reduce EU opposition to our attacking Russia. Then we will have China basically surrounded. This is made easier with our nuclear policy of "we can use nuclear weapons with acceptable losses." What could go wrong?

Watt4Bob , October 18, 2018 at 9:02 am

What could go wrong?

I wonder what the secret industry studies say about the damage possible from an accident at a LNG port terminal involving catastrophic failure and combustion of the entire cargo of a transport while unloading high-pressure LNG.

They call a fuel-air bomb the size of a school bus 'The Mother of all bombs', what about one the size of a large ocean going tanker?

Anarcissie , October 18, 2018 at 10:46 am

Many years ago, someone was trying to build an LNG storage facility on the southwest shore of Staten Island 17 miles SW of Manhattan involving very large insulated tanks. In spite of great secrecy, there came to be much local opposition. At the time it was said that the amount of energy contained in the tanks would be comparable to a nuclear weapon. Various possible disaster scenarios were proposed, for example a tank could be compromised by accident (plane crashes into it) or terrorism, contents catch fire and explode, huge fireball emerges and drifts with the wind, possibly over New Jersey's chemical farms or even towards Manhattan. The local opponents miraculously won. As far as I know, the disused tanks are still there.

Wukchumni , October 18, 2018 at 10:55 am

This was a fuel-air bomb @ Burning Man about a dozen years ago, emanating from an oil derrick of sorts.

I was about 500 feet away when it went up, and afterwards thought maybe we were a bit too close to the action, as we got blasted with heat

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wyc6LTVxhJA

The Rev Kev , October 18, 2018 at 10:56 am

Does this page help Watt4Bob?

https://www.laohamutuk.org/Oil/LNG/app4.htm

Watt4Bob , October 18, 2018 at 2:53 pm

That last one was a doozy as they say!

Nigeria 2005;

A 28-inch LNG underground pipeline exploded in Nigeria and the resulting fire engulfed an estimated 27 square kilometers.

Here's one from Cleveland;

On 20 October 1944, a liquefied natural gas storage tank in Cleveland, Ohio, split and leaked its contents, which spread, caught fire, and exploded. A half hour later, another tank exploded as well. The explosions destroyed 1 square mile (2.6 km2), killed 130, and left 600 homeless.

Synoia , October 18, 2018 at 3:54 pm

The locals in Nigeria drill hole in pipeline to get free fuel.

The Nigeria Government has been really wonderful about sharing the largess and riches of their large petroleum field in the Niger delta. Mostly with owners of expensive property around the world.

The Rev Kev , October 18, 2018 at 9:05 am

I am trying to think of what might be in it for the Germans to go along with this deal but cannot see any. The gas would be far more expensive that the Russian deliveries. A fleet of tankers and the port facilities would have to be built and who is going to pick up the tab for that? Then if the terminal is in Louisiana, what happens to deliveries whenever there is a hurricane?

I cannot see anything in it for the Germans at all. Trump's gratitude? That and 50 cents won't buy you a cup of coffee. In any case Trump would gloat about the stupidity of the Germans taking him up on the deal, not feel gratitude. The US wants Germany to stick with deliveries via the Ukraine as they have their thumb on that sorry country and can threaten Germany with that fact. Nord Stream 2 (and the eventual Nord Stream 3) threaten that hold.

The killer argument is this. In terms of business and remembering what international agreements Trump has broken the past two years, who is more reliable as a business partner for Germany – Putin's Russia or Trump's America?

Ignacio , October 18, 2018 at 10:20 am

Apart from cost issues, If American companies rely on shale gas to keep or increase production will they be able to honor 20 year supply contracts?

PlutoniumKun , October 18, 2018 at 10:37 am

I find it impossible to believe that a gas supplier would keep to an artificially low LNG contract if, say, a very cold winter in the US led to a shortage and extreme price spike. They'd come up with some excuse not to deliver.

The Rev Kev , October 18, 2018 at 10:40 am

Good question that. Poland has just signed a 20 year agreement with the US so I will be curious how that works out for them. Story at - https://www.rt.com/business/441494-poland-us-gas-lng/

jsn , October 18, 2018 at 12:16 pm

Trumps argument appears to be that Germany as a NATO member relies on US DOD for defense, to pay for that they must buy our LNG.

jefemt , October 18, 2018 at 9:25 am

My recollection was that there was a law that prohibited export-sales of domestic US hydrocarbons. That law was under attack, and went away in the last couple years?

LNG with your F35? said the transactional Orangeman

Duck1 , October 18, 2018 at 2:51 pm

The fracked crude is ultralight and unsuitable for the refineries in the quantities available, hence export, which caused congress to change the law. No expert, but understand that it is used a lot as a blender with heavier stocks of crude, quite a bit going to China.

oh , October 18, 2018 at 10:01 am

The petroleum industry has been bribing lobbying the administration for quite a while to get this policy in place, The so called surplus of NG today (if there is), won't last long. Exports will create a shortage and will result in higher prices to all.

vidimi , October 18, 2018 at 10:43 am

also, if Germany were to switch to American LNG, for how long would this be a reliable energy source? Fracking wells are short lived, so what happens once they are depleted? who foots the bill?

John k , October 18, 2018 at 12:48 pm

We do. Shortage here to honor export contracts, as has happened in Australia.

Big Tap , October 18, 2018 at 2:02 pm

The United States should lead by example. Telling Germany not to import Russian gas is rich considering the U.S. also imports from Russia. https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2018/07/12/russia-was-a-top-10-supplier-of-u-s-oil-imports-in-2017/

Seamus Padraig , October 18, 2018 at 2:14 pm

I just love the fact that Trump is publicly calling out Merkel on this; she has been nothing but two-faced and hypocritical on the Russia question.

She was one of the ones who pushed the EU hard, for example, to sanction Russia in the wake of the coup in Ukraine (which she had also supported). And then she pushed the EU hard to kill off the South Stream pipeline, which would have gone through SE Europe into Austria. She used the excuse of 'EU solidarity' against 'Russian aggression' to accomplish that only to then turn around and start building yet another pipeline out of Russia and straight into Germany! The Bulgarians et al. must feel like real idiots now. It seems Berlin wants to control virtually all the pipelines into Europe.

So, three cheers for Trump embarrassing Merkel on this issue!

Unna , October 18, 2018 at 2:24 pm

Putting money aside for a moment, Trump, as well as the entire American establishment, doesn't want Russia "controlling" Germany's energy supplies. That's because they want America to control Germany's energy supplies via controlling LNG deliveries from America to Germany and by controlling gas supplies to Germany through Ukraine. This by maintaining America's control over Ukraine's totally dependent puppet government. The Germans know this so they want Nord Stream 2 & 3.

Ukraine is an unreliable energy corridor on a good day. It is run by clans of rapacious oligarchs who don't give one whit about Ukraine, the Ukrainian "people", or much of anything else except business. The 2019 presidential election may turn into a contest among President Poroshenko the Chocolate King, Yulia Tymoshenko the Gas Princess, as well as some others including neo Nazis that go downhill from there. What competent German government would want Germany's energy supplies to be dependent on that mess?

It has been said that America's worst geopolitical nightmare is an economic-political-military combination of Russia, Iran, and China in the Eurasian "heartland". Right up there, if not worse, is a close political-economic association between Germany and Russia; now especially so since such a relationship can quickly be hooked into China's New Silk Road, which America will do anything to subvert including tariffs, sanctions, confiscations of assets, promotion of political-ethnic-religious grievances where they may exist along the "Belt-Road", as well as armed insurrections, really maybe anything short of all out war with Russia and China.

Germany's trying to be polite about this saying, sure, how about a little bit of LNG along with Nord Stream 2 & 3? But the time may come, if America pushes enough, that Germany will have to make an existential choice between subservience to America, and pursuit of it's own legitimate self interest.

Synoia , October 18, 2018 at 3:33 pm

The Empire fights Back.

Study a map of the ME, and consider the silk road Terminii.

Synoia , October 18, 2018 at 3:30 pm

It's hard to make NG explode, as it is with all liquid hydrocarbons. It is refrigerated, and must change from liquid to gaseous for, and be mixed with air.

I've also worked on a Gas Tanker in the summer vacations. The gas was refrigerated, and kept liquid. They is a second method, used for NG, that is to allow evaporation from the cargo, and use it as fuel for the engine (singular because there is one propulsion engine on most large ships) on the tanker.

Watt4Bob , October 18, 2018 at 5:31 pm

I dunno, there are other opinions .

[Oct 18, 2018] Skripal and Khashoggi West Manufactures Absurd Fantasy to Pin on Russia, Lets Saudi Get Away With Chopping up WaPo Journalist

Oct 18, 2018 | www.strategic-culture.org

Two disappearances, and two very different responses from Western governments, which illustrates their rank hypocrisy.

When former Russian spy Sergei Skripal went missing in England earlier this year, there was almost immediate punitive action by the British government and its NATO allies against Moscow. By contrast, Western governments are straining with restraint towards Saudi Arabia over the more shocking and provable case of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The outcry by Western governments and media over the Skripal affair was deafening and resulted in Britain, the US and some 28 other countries expelling dozens of Russian diplomats on the back of unsubstantiated British allegations that the Kremlin tried to assassinate an exiled spy with a deadly nerve agent. The Trump administration has further tightened sanctions citing the Skripal incident.

London's case against Moscow has been marked by wild speculation and ropey innuendo. No verifiable evidence of what actually happened to Sergei Skripal (67) and his daughter Yulia has been presented by the British authorities . Their claim that President Vladimir Putin sanctioned a hit squad armed with nerve poison relies on sheer conjecture.

All we know for sure is that the Skripals have been disappeared from public contact by the British authorities for more than seven months , since the mysterious incident of alleged poisoning in Salisbury on March 4.

Russian authorities and family relatives have been steadfastly refused any contact by London with the Skripal pair, despite more than 60 official requests from Moscow in accordance with international law and in spite of the fact that Yulia is a citizen of the Russian Federation with consular rights.

It is an outrage that based on such thin ice of "evidence", the British have built an edifice of censure against Moscow, rallying an international campaign of further sanctions and diplomatic expulsions.

Now contrast that strenuous reaction, indeed hyper over-reaction, with how Britain, the US, France, Canada and other Western governments are ever-so slowly responding to Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi case.

After nearly two weeks since Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, t he Saudi regime is this week finally admitting he was killed on their premises – albeit, they claim, in a "botched interrogation".

Turkish and American intelligence had earlier claimed that Khashoggi was tortured and murdered on the Saudi premises by a 15-member hit squad sent from Riyadh.

Even more grisly, it is claimed that Khashoggi's body was hacked up with a bone saw by the killers, his remains secreted out of the consulate building in boxes, and flown back to Saudi Arabia on board two private jets connected to the Saudi royal family.

What's more, the Turks and Americans claim that the whole barbaric plot to murder Khashoggi was on the orders of senior Saudi rulers, implicating Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The latest twist out of Riyadh, is an attempt to scapegoat "rogue killers" and whitewash the House of Saudi from culpability.

The fact that 59-year-old Khashoggi was a legal US resident and a columnist for the Washington Post has no doubt given his case such prominent coverage in Western news media. Thousands of other victims of Saudi vengeance are routinely ignored in the West.

Nevertheless, despite the horrific and damning case against the Saudi monarchy, the response from the Trump administration, Britain and others has been abject.

President Trump has blustered that there "will be severe consequences" for the Saudi regime if it is proven culpable in the murder of Khashoggi. Trump quickly qualified, however, saying that billion-dollar arms deals with the oil-rich kingdom will not be cancelled. Now Trump appears to be joining in a cover-up by spinning the story that the Khashoggi killing was done by "rogue killers".

Britain, France and Germany this week issued a joint statement calling for "a credible investigation" into the disappearance. But other than "tough-sounding" rhetoric, n one of the European states have indicated any specific sanctions, such as weapons contracts being revoked or diplomatic expulsions.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was "concerned" by the gruesome claims about Khashoggi's killing, but he reiterated that Ottawa would not be scrapping a $15 billion sale of combat vehicles to Riyadh.

The Saudi rulers have even threatened retaliatory measures if sanctions are imposed by Western governments.

Saudi denials of official culpability seem to be a brazen flouting of all reason and circumstantial evidence that Khashoggi was indeed murdered in the consulate building on senior Saudi orders.

This week a glitzy international investor conference in Saudi Arabia is being boycotted by top business figures, including the World Bank chief, Jim Yong Kim, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon and Britain's venture capitalist Richard Branson. Global firms like Ford and Uber have pulled out, as have various media sponsors, such as CNN, the New York Times and Financial Times. Withdrawal from the event was in response to the Khashoggi affair.

A growing bipartisan chorus of US Senators, including Bob Corker, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham and Chris Murphy, have called for the cancellation of American arms sales to Saudi Arabia, as well as for an overhaul of the strategic partnership between the two countries.

Still, Trump has rebuffed calls for punitive response. He has said that American jobs and profits depend on the Saudi weapons market. Some 20 per cent of all US arms sales are estimated to go to the House of Saud.

The New York Times this week headlined: "In Trump's Saudi Bargain, the Bottom Line Proudly Stands Out".

The Trump White House will be represented at the investment conference in Saudi Arabia this week – dubbed "Davos in the Desert" by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. He said he was attending in spite of the grave allegations against the Saudi rulers.

Surely the point here is the unseemly indulgence by Western governments of Saudi Arabia and its so-called "reforming" Crown Prince. It is remarkable how much credulity Washington, London, Paris, Ottawa and others are affording the Saudi despots who, most likely, have been caught redhanded in a barbarous murder.

Yet, when it comes to Russia and outlandish, unproven claims that the Kremlin carried out a bizarre poison-assassination plot, all these same Western governments abandon all reason and decorum to pile sanctions on Russia based on lurid, hollow speculation. The blatant hypocrisy demolishes any pretense of integrity or principle.

Here is another connection between the Skripal and Khashoggi affairs. The Saudis no doubt took note of the way Britain's rulers have shown absolute disregard and contempt for international law in their de facto abduction of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. If the British can get away with that gross violation, then the Saudis probably thought that nobody would care too much if they disappeared Jamal Khashoggi.

Grotesquely, the way things are shaping up in terms of hypocritical lack of action by the Americans, British and others towards the Saudi despots, the latter might just get away with murder. Not so Russia. The Russians are not allowed to get away with even an absurd fantasy.


Source: Strategic Culture

[Oct 18, 2018] Lavrov Accuses Bellingcat of Serving Western Intelligence

Oct 18, 2018 | themoscowtimes.com

https://themoscowtimes.com/news/moscow-accuses-bellingcat-serving-western-intelligence-63212):

".......Russia's foreign minister has accused the open-source Bellingcat investigative team of acting as a front for Western intelligence services seeking to manipulate public opinion.

Bellingcat has played a leading role in identifying the alleged names of two men accused of trying to poison ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain this year. It has previously published investigations that reportedly link Russia to the downing of flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine and suspected chemical attacks in Syria.

"It's no secret to anyone, Western journalists write openly that Bellingcat is connected to special services," Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Euronews on Tuesday.

"They leak information through it to have some effect on public opinion," he said......."

[Oct 17, 2018] Did Saudis, CIA Fear Khashoggi 9-11 Bombshell-

Oct 17, 2018 | theduran.com

The macabre case of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi raises the question: did Saudi rulers fear him revealing highly damaging information on their secret dealings? In particular, possible involvement in the 9/11 terror attacks on New York in 2001.

Even more intriguing are US media reports now emerging that American intelligence had snooped on and were aware of Saudi officials making plans to capture Khashoggi prior to his apparent disappearance at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week. If the Americans knew the journalist's life was in danger, why didn't they tip him off to avoid his doom?

Jamal Khashoggi (59) had gone rogue, from the Saudi elite's point of view. Formerly a senior editor in Saudi state media and an advisor to the royal court, he was imminently connected and versed in House of Saud affairs. As one commentator cryptically put it: "He knew where all the bodies were buried."

For the past year, Khashoggi went into self-imposed exile, taking up residence in the US, where he began writing opinion columns for the Washington Post.

Khashoggi's articles appeared to be taking on increasingly critical tone against the heir to the Saudi throne, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The 33-year-old Crown Prince, or MbS as he's known, is de facto ruler of the oil-rich kingdom, in place of his aging father, King Salman.

While Western media and several leaders, such as Presidents Trump and Macron, have been indulging MbS as "a reformer", Khashoggi was spoiling this Saudi public relations effort by criticizing the war in Yemen, the blockade on Qatar and the crackdown on Saudi critics back home.

However, what may have caused the Saudi royals more concern was what Khashoggi knew about darker, dirtier matters. And not just the Saudis, but American deep state actors as as well.

He was formerly a media aide to Prince Turki al Faisal, who is an eminence gris figure in Saudi intelligence, with its systematic relations to American and British counterparts. Prince Turki's father, Faisal, was formerly the king of Saudi Arabia until his assassination in 1975 by a family rival. Faisal was a half-brother of the present king, Salman, and therefore Prince Turki is a cousin of the Crown Prince – albeit at 73 more than twice his age.

For nearly 23 years, from 1977 to 2001, Prince Turki was the director of the Mukhabarat, the Saudi state intelligence apparatus. He was instrumental in Saudi, American and British organization of the mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan to combat Soviet forces. Those militants in Afghanistan later evolved into the al Qaeda terror network, which has served as a cat's paw in various US proxy wars across the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, including Russia's backyard in the Caucasus.

Ten days before the 9/11 terror attacks on New York City, in which some 3,000 Americans died, Prince Turki retired from his post as head of Saudi intelligence. It was an abrupt departure, well before his tenure was due to expire.

There has previously been speculation in US media that this senior Saudi figure knew in advance that something major was going down on 9/11. At least 15 of the 19 Arabs who allegedly hijacked three commercial airplanes that day were Saudi nationals.

Prince Turki has subsequently been named in a 2002 lawsuit mounted by families of 9/11 victims. There is little suggestion he was wittingly involved in organizing the terror plot. Later public comments indicated that Prince Turki was horrified by the atrocity. But the question is: did he know of the impending incident, and did he alert US intelligence, which then did not take appropriate action to prevent it?

Jamal Khashoggi had long served as a trusted media advisor to Prince Turki, before the latter resigned from public office in 2007. Following 9/11, Turki was the Saudi ambassador to both the US and Britain.

A tentative idea here is that Khashoggi, in his close dealings with Prince Turki over the years, may have gleaned highly sensitive inside information on what actually happened on 9/11. Were the Arab hijackers mere patsies used by the American CIA to facilitate an event which has since been used by American military planners to launch a global "war on terror" as a cover for illegal wars overseas? There is a huge body of evidence that the 9/11 attacks were indeed a "false flag" event orchestrated by the US deep state as a pretext for its imperialist rampages.

The apparent abduction and murder last week of Jamal Khashoggi seems such an astoundingly desperate move by the Saudi rulers. More evidence is emerging from Turkish sources that the journalist was indeed lured to the consulate in Istanbul where he was killed by a 15-member hit squad. Reports are saying that the alleged assassination was ordered at the highest level of the Saudi royal court, which implicates Crown Prince MbS.

Why would the Saudi rulers order such a heinous act, which would inevitably lead to acute political problems, as we are seeing in the fallout from governments and media coverage around the world?

Over the past year, the House of Saud had been appealing to Khashoggi to return to Riyadh and resume his services as a media advisor to the royal court. He declined, fearing that something more sinister was afoot. When Khashoggi turned up in Istanbul to collect a divorce document from the Saudi consulate on September 28, it appears that the House of Saud decided to nab him. He was told to return to the consulate on October 2. On that same day, the 15-member group arrived from Riyadh on two private Gulfstream jets for the mission to kill him.

Official Saudi claims stretch credulity. They say Khashoggi left the consulate building unharmed by a backdoor, although they won't provide CCTV images to prove that. The Turks say their own CCTV facilities monitoring the front and back of the Saudi consulate show that Khashoggi did not leave the premises. The Turks seem confident of their claim he was murdered inside the building, his remains dismembered and removed in diplomatic vehicles. The two private jets left the same day from Istanbul with the 15 Saudis onboard to return to Riyadh, via Cairo and Dubai.

To carry out such a reckless act, the Saudis must have been alarmed by Khashoggi's critical commentaries appearing in the Washington Post. The columns appeared to be delivering more and more damaging insights into the regime under Crown Prince MbS.

The Washington Post this week is reporting that US intelligence sources knew from telecom intercepts that the Saudis were planning to abduct Khashoggi. That implicates the House of Saud in a dastardly premeditated act of murder.

But furthermore this same disclosure could also, unwittingly, implicate US intelligence. If the latter knew of a malicious intent towards Khashoggi, why didn't US agents warn him about going to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul? Surely, he could have obtained the same personal documents from the Saudi embassy in Washington DC, a country where he was residing and would have been safer.

Jamal Khashoggi may have known too many dark secrets about US and Saudi intel collusion, primarily related to the 9/11 terror incidents. And with his increasing volubility as a critical journalist in a prominent American news outlet, it may have been time to silence him. The Saudis as hitmen, the American CIA as facilitators.

[Oct 16, 2018] Defeat in Bavaria delivers knockout punch to Merkel's tenure as Chancellor (Video)

Oct 16, 2018 | theduran.com

The stunning CSU defeat in Bavaria means that the coalition partner in Angela Merkel's government has lost an absolute majority in their worst election results in Bavaria since 1950.

In a preview analysis before the election, Deutsche Welle noted that a CSU collapse could lead to Seehofer's resignation from Merkel's government, and conceivably Söder's exit from the Bavarian state premiership, which would remove two of the chancellor's most outspoken critics from power , and give her room to govern in the calmer, crisis-free manner she is accustomed to.

On the other hand, a heavy loss and big resignations in the CSU might well push a desperate party in a more volatile, abrasive direction at the national level. That would further antagonize the SPD, the center-left junior partners in Merkel's coalition, themselves desperate for a new direction and already impatient with Seehofer's destabilizing antics, and precipitate a break-up of the age-old CDU/CSU alliance, and therefore a break-up of Merkel's grand coalition. In short: Anything could happen after Sunday, up to and including Merkel's fall.

The Financial Times reports that the campaign was dominated by the divisive issue of immigration, in a sign of how the shockwaves from Merkel's disastrous decision to let in more than a million refugees in 2015-16 are continuing to reverberate through German politics and to reshape the party landscape.

The Duran's Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the stunning Bavarian election defeat of the CSU party, and the message voters sent to Angela Merkel, the last of the Obama 'rat pack' neo-liberal, globalist leaders whose tenure as German Chancellor appears to be coming to an end.

[Oct 16, 2018] CIA Whistleblower claims Nikki Haley will run for president in 2024

Oct 16, 2018 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

During a discussion with Tyrel Ventura and Tabetha Wallace, hosts of RT show Watching the Hawks , CIA Whistleblower, John Kiriakou, revealed that Nikki Haley who recently resigned from her position as US ambassador to the United Nations, is planning to run for president in 2024.

As Kiriakou said:

I actually had occasion to speak with a former very senior member of the Trump campaign, and he told me a fascinating story. He told me that Henry McMaster, who is currently the governor of South Carolina and had been a lieutenant governor, was the first elected official in America to endorse Donald Trump in early 2016.

And by the end of the year, Donald Trump had won the presidency and the campaign contacted McMaster and said 'what do you want as a reward?' And he said 'I want to be governor of South Carolina.'

Well, Nikki Haley was the governor of South Carolina. So, what is Nikki Haley want? Nikki Haley wants to be President of the United States, and she had zero foreign policy experience.

So, what they did, is they moved Haley to the United Nations to give her a foreign policy experience, Henry McMaster now is a very happy governor of South Carolina. Haley only wanted to be in the position long enough to say she had been in the position and she knew a lot about foreign policy.

So, now she's resigning. She's going to campaign for Republicans running for Congress - She's gonna campaign for the president in 2020 - She's gonna make a lot of money in the meantime. And then, she's gonna run for president in 2024. During a discussion with Tyrel Ventura and Tabetha Wallace, hosts of RT show Watching the Hawks , CIA Whistleblower, John Kiriakou, revealed that Nikki Haley who recently resigned from her position as US ambassador to the United Nations, is planning to run for president in 2024.

As Kiriakou said:

I actually had occasion to speak with a former very senior member of the Trump campaign, and he told me a fascinating story. He told me that Henry McMaster, who is currently the governor of South Carolina and had been a lieutenant governor, was the first elected official in America to endorse Donald Trump in early 2016.

And by the end of the year, Donald Trump had won the presidency and the campaign contacted McMaster and said 'what do you want as a reward?' And he said 'I want to be governor of South Carolina.'

Well, Nikki Haley was the governor of South Carolina. So, what is Nikki Haley want? Nikki Haley wants to be President of the United States, and she had zero foreign policy experience.

So, what they did, is they moved Haley to the United Nations to give her a foreign policy experience, Henry McMaster now is a very happy governor of South Carolina. Haley only wanted to be in the position long enough to say she had been in the position and she knew a lot about foreign policy.

So, now she's resigning. She's going to campaign for Republicans running for Congress - She's gonna campaign for the president in 2020 - She's gonna make a lot of money in the meantime. And then, she's gonna run for president in 2024.

https://youtu.be/ETgiMtZk92c

[Oct 14, 2018] I don't think Trump cared much about the Skripal case either. He imposed a few more sanctions under pressure from the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, GOP Rep. Ed Royce of California.

Notable quotes:
"... Any scenario is possible coming from the Saudis or the Anglo media. The Skripal has been a successful one. ..."
Oct 14, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

dh , Oct 12, 2018 5:02:06 PM | link

@81 I don't think Trump cared much about the Skripal case either.

He imposed a few more sanctions under pressure from the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, GOP Rep. Ed Royce of California.


Virgile , Oct 12, 2018 5:07:49 PM | link

@71 Activist potatoe

We are in "Pulp Fiction" aren't we? Any scenario is possible coming from the Saudis or the Anglo media. The Skripal has been a successful one.
Thanks for completing the scenario with your own ideas of the beheading of witnesses that you mistakenly attributed to me.

I would suppose that Saudis have something usually convincing to shut off talkative people, like they will shut off Trump or even the Turks: Money

Activist Potato , Oct 12, 2018 6:08:40 PM | link

... ... ...

The Skripal hoax grew legs I never imagined possible. If people did quietly question it, those people were deprived of a public counter-narrative in the mainstream Press to nurture their skepticism. This could cause a dimwit to renounce natural suspicion and a sharpie to know when to shut-up if he/she did not wish to be laughed at or worse.

They have so many of us dangling on a string. Thank b and others for MoA!


Den Lille Abe , Oct 12, 2018 10:10:26 PM | link
Cool down! We had TWO GRU murderers walk into Salisbury, with no CCCTV ecidense yet that they were near Skripal's house, and no evidence from his house , which surely must have under surveillance. Do you believe this? OK you believe the official story too.
And apart from that, Kashroggis probable demise is all cool, as he was a head chopping advocate, a Wahabistst. Fuck him . Wahabists go in Class on camps which has on the entrance "Arbeit mach frei" which of course is a general lie, but the whe get to kill them in a humanely way (see instruction manual from CiA)
Or you just shoot them in the chest, less smatter and more blood. Headshots are messy, stuff everywhere., sometimetimes, if you accidentially hit a weak point in the cranium , you have brains everywhere , dont wan't that.
Den Lille Abe , Oct 13, 2018 8:46:30 AM | link
As another poster commented, something is missing...
It is like a well choreograhped drame, Skripals were the same, this also is tooooo nice fitting together... Hmfr!
Qui bono? Who makes money on this? I certainly cannot answer that, but lets play safe : The Russians did it!
They beamed up Kasshoggi to their base on the dark side of the moon, the re killed him in civilized manner, fucking him to death with nice looking whores and spoonfeeding him Beluga caviar and interjected wit sips of Russian Starka. He was then made to mush and beamed back into the Saudi consulate making a real mess. Now poor headchop promoter is all over the place! He must love that up in his muslum heaven with 72 old hags. There is no martyrdom in being beamed to the moon and put through a garden shredder, that is nothing special.
So now the Saudi's has Khassoggi al over their faces (literally :)) and the Turks eye a new way to betray someone (Putin, wake up!!). Ever since democracy was bestowed on these people, they have made a mess of it.
Back in the day (when I was gung ho Army boy), it was OK for a Turk officer to shoot dead a couple of conscripts a year, no problemo, the sentries with weapons had no live rounds hi-hi. Turkey does not need a hard shove and it will crumble, and the Americans will intervene, unless Russia is first.
This game is about Turkey, and not goat herders in Saudi Sodoma. They have hardly oil left and the plebs are angry.
Robert Snefjella , Oct 13, 2018 8:50:46 AM | link
Trivia?

Jared Kushner's friendship/affair with previously merely progressive war criminal MBS, who has progressed to now also beinted tainted with responsibility for the lurid butchery of an offensive to MBS 'journalist' who was but days from marriage and the arms of his love, does not elevate Kushner's already dubious standing in some circles.

Kushner, he who on one memorable occasion chatted til the early hours of the morning, "cultivating a close friendship", with the mass murdering progressive MBS, who (thus inspired?; coincidentally?) to Trumpian applause arrested and shook down many members of his billionaire-cult family. But is this a busom buddy friendship born of equality, two young men with so much in common?

MBS has been quoted as saying he has "Kushner in my pocket". Hmmm.

And then there's NYT's Tom Friedman's gushing rhapsody in purple over MBS: "... a genuine reformer, mega-popular dude, and an all-around super awesome guy." Friedman's love was stoked over what he presumed was a lamb dinner, but in the light of further developments, we are not so sure....

mali , Oct 13, 2018 9:30:32 AM | link
Trump vows 'severe punishment' if Saudi Arabia is behind killing of WaPo journalist Khashoggi . However, Trump stressed that even if the journalist was killed at the hands of Riyadh, he still wouldn't end the arms deal between the two countries .
Noirette , Oct 13, 2018 9:53:35 AM | link
Reminded me of the Sultan Bin Turki affair.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sultan_bin_Turki_II_bin_Abdulaziz_Al_Saud

He was most critical of the Saudi Royals and ;) 'pro-reform.' He was kidnapped in Geneva, apparently as carried out or 'allowed' for a good part by the Saudi Ambassador.

He was, allegedly, 'rendered' back to KSA, drugged and tortured. Five masked men knocked him unconscious, anesthetized him, taken him to a Boeing 747 waiting at the Geneva airport, and flew him to the Saudi capital Riyadh

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940427000348

In F, closer to the events: Celui-ci s'éclipse de la pièce et peu après, des hommes armés font irruption, frappent Sultan ben Turki, le menottent, lui font une injection et le transportent inconscient jusqu'à l'aéroport de Cointrin, où il est embarqué à bord d'un Boeing médical arrivé plusieurs jours auparavant et toujours prêt à décoller, selon le récit qu'il en a fait plus tard.

https://www.letemps.ch/monde/ne-prince-saoudien-exile-europe

Prison > house arrest, > once freed - he was allowed to go to Boston for medical treatment - he fled - back to Geneva! - and a court case took place (2016.) Pierre de Preux, a well known lawyer here, represented him. Imho the state prosecutor (= DA) was brave to take on this case. It was nevertheless shelved for lack of evidence.

Killing off critics / potential trouble makers / other / takes different forms in different régimes.

In the US for ex. no big show is made, and the death is classed as suicide, car accident, druggie death, mystery fall / drowning, etc. no matter how weird the circumstances. In other lands, it is deemed necessary to demonstrate the power of the Overlords, who can organise 15 ppl, a stark warning is projected.

Piotr Berman , Oct 13, 2018 10:40:02 AM | link
Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Oct 13, 2018 8:46:30 AM | 118

On one hand, the quantity of black flag incidents is increasing, and that leads to low quality at many occasions. Ukrainians in particular excel in making most laughable incidents and the British seem to be influenced. Babchenko was killed, his murder condemned by Her Majesty Foreign Office and then got resurected. Brits seem to liked that, as exemplified by heroics of Sir Gavin, the Lord Defender of the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland, Island of Man etc. etc.) on the frontline of the Free Ukraine.

On the other hand, were Saudis innocent they should have means of proving it. Consulates have security systems including cameras near the entry. While they are attacked less frequently than convenience stores, they have a better budget for such systems. Thus it should not be hard to show that either (a) Jamal Khashoggi actually did not enter KSA consulate in Istanbul on the day in question or (b) he entered and exited. Barring the use of hitherto unknown types of beam weapons, I would conclude that he entered and did not exit by normal means.

That said, there were no reports on beam weapons capable of transporting material objects. At worst, Russians could focus microwave weapons reducing people inside the consulate to incontinent cricket hearing idiots, enter through the underground and get out carrying whatever they please. KSA could be reluctant to release videos showing their people as they looked like idiots who just pissed into their pants and worse. This is what I can imagine on the basis of stories from American press that include at least two of "Russia, consulate/embassy, microwave weapons", usually all three. If we restrict ourself to more corroborated stories, Russians could drill holes and saturate the air with "military grade fentanyl" and eschew microwaves. But it would be easier if it was done by Turks with the help of Russian experts who botched something like that at least once, so they have data how to drill, spray and calculate the dosage.

Surely, one should not deprecate the ability of Turks to concoct tales. For example, a typical tale from Tales of 1001 Nights features a beautiful Turkish princess that falls from one misfortune to another at the hands of a trio of bad characters: a Jewish merchant, a Christian magician and a Kurdish leader of a band of robbers, only to be eventually rescued by a dashing young Muslim Arab, and we may have such a tale suitable altered for the occasion -- perhaps despicable Kurds will show up later.

But really, offering Starka to a prisoner? Because of long aging time and the demand, it is surprisingly hard to buy, and it is hard to tell if it is popular in Russia at all, Poland and the Baltics have more of Starka tradition.

[Oct 14, 2018] Empire Loyalists Grieve Resignation of Moderate Psychopath Nikki Haley

Notable quotes:
"... Describing Nikki Haley as a "moderate Republican" is like describing Jeffrey Dahmer as "a moderate meat eater". Besides John Bolton there is nobody within the depraved Trump administration who's been a more reliable advocate for war, oppression and American/Israeli supremacism, no more virulent a proponent of the empire's photogenic version of fascism than she. ..."
"... But because she only advocates establishment-sanctioned mass murders (and perhaps partly because she wears the magical "Woman of Color" tiara), Haley can be painted as a sane, sensible adult-in-the-room by empire lackeys who are paid to normalize the brutality of the ruling class. ..."
"... Haley will be departing with a disgusting 75 percent approval rating with Republicans and 55 percent approval with Democrats, because God is dead and everything is stupid. ..."
Oct 14, 2018 | medium.com

Empire Loyalists Grieve Resignation of Moderate Psychopath Nikki Haley "Describing Nikki Haley as a 'moderate Republican' is like describing Jeffrey Dahmer as 'a moderate meat eater'" Caitlin Johnstone Thu, Oct 11, 2018 | 820 words 3,560 164

World War Three proponent and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has announced her resignation today, to the dismay of establishment bootlickers everywhere.

"Nikki Haley, ambassador to the United Nations, has resigned, leaving the administration with one less moderate Republican voice," tweeted the New York Times, without defining what specifically is "moderate" about relentlessly pushing for war and starvation sanctions at every opportunity and adamantly defending the slaughter of unarmed Palestinian protesters with sniper fire.

"Too bad Nikki Haley has resigned," tweeted law professor turned deranged Russia conspiracy theorist Laurence Tribe. "She was one of the last members of Trumplandia with even a smidgen of decency."

"Thank you @nikkihaley for your remarkable service. We look forward to welcoming you back to public service as President of the United States," tweeted Mark Dubowitz, Chief Executive of the neoconservative think tank/ covert Israeli war psyop firm Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

"Thank you @nikkihaley for your service in the @UN and unwavering support for Israel and the truth," tweeted the fucking IDF. "The soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces salute you!"

I'm not going to go over every single fawning, sycophantic tweet, but if you ever ingest poison and can't afford to go to the hospital because of America's disastrous healthcare system, you can always try going to Haley's Twitter page and looking at all the empire loyalists she's been retweeting who've been falling all over themselves to paint her as something other than the bloodthirsty psychopath that she is. If that doesn't empty your stomach contents all over your screen, you are made of stronger stuff than I.

Describing Nikki Haley as a "moderate Republican" is like describing Jeffrey Dahmer as "a moderate meat eater". Besides John Bolton there is nobody within the depraved Trump administration who's been a more reliable advocate for war, oppression and American/Israeli supremacism, no more virulent a proponent of the empire's photogenic version of fascism than she.

Whether it's been blocking any condemnation of or UN investigation into the slaughter of unarmed Palestinian protesters via sniper fire, calling for a coalition against Syria and its allies to prevent them from fighting western-backed terrorist factions, outright lying about Iran to advance this administration's regime change agenda in that nation, her attempts to blame Iran for Saudi Arabia's butchery of Yemeni civilians with the help of the US and UK, her calls for sanctions against Russia even beyond those this administration has been willing to implement, her warmongering against North Korea , and many, many examples from a list far too long to get into here, Haley has made death and destruction her life's mission every day of her gore-spattered tenure.

But because she only advocates establishment-sanctioned mass murders (and perhaps partly because she wears the magical "Woman of Color" tiara), Haley can be painted as a sane, sensible adult-in-the-room by empire lackeys who are paid to normalize the brutality of the ruling class. While you still see Steve Bannon routinely decried as a monster despite his being absent from the Trump administration for over a year, far more dangerous and far more powerful ghouls are treated with respect and reverence because they know what to say in polite company and never smoked cigars with Milo Yiannopoulos. All it takes to be regarded as a decent person by establishment punditry is the willingness to avoid offending people; do that and you can murder as many children with explosives and butterfly bullets as your withered heart desires.

Haley will be departing with a disgusting 75 percent approval rating with Republicans and 55 percent approval with Democrats, because God is dead and everything is stupid. It is unknown who will replace her once she vacates her position (I've got my money on Reaper drone in a desk chair), but it's a safe bet that it will be someone who espouses the same neoconservative imperialist foreign policy that this administration has been elevating since the beginning. Whoever it is should be watched closely, as should the bipartisan beltway propagandists whose job it is to humanize them.

UPDATE: Had to include this gem from the New York Times editorial board:


Source: Medium.com

[Oct 14, 2018] Nobody in the adults world will miss Haley

Notable quotes:
"... They should definitely send more women to the places they messed up - Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Iraq, Iran etc. They should never send them to Iran as they will have a fit when they see how civilised and courteous ordinary people are over there. For some strange reason, most Iranians like America. I could never understand that. ..."
Oct 14, 2018 | russia-insider.com

Canosin 3 days ago ,

what a poisonous snake.. .... nobody in the adults world will miss this piece of lying shit.....

Alberto Canosin 2 days ago ,

Samantha Power was terrible too. Hard to say which is worse. They share the same discourse. No difference between democrats and Republicans. Both defend the Empire by resorting to invasions, conspiracies, and murder.

Seán Murphy Alberto 2 days ago ,

Think Power had slightly more between her ears... but the same warmongering attitudes. What's wrong with women when they get into positions of power, that so many of them become warhawks? Think Power, Haley, Rice (both of them), Clinton, Albrighton, Thatcher, et al?
And them the feminists tell us that the world would be a more just and peaceful place if there were more of them in office!

Nassim7 Seán Murphy 2 days ago ,

"What's wrong with women when they get into positions of power, that so many of them become warhawks?"

They should definitely send more women to the places they messed up - Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Iraq, Iran etc. They should never send them to Iran as they will have a fit when they see how civilised and courteous ordinary people are over there. For some strange reason, most Iranians like America. I could never understand that.

franz kafka Nassim7 2 hours ago ,

The US propaganda was effective. It worked in the USSR too... but only once.

Alberto Seán Murphy 2 days ago ,

Because women in power want to imitate men's behavior. Don't want to differentiate themselves. Bad news for bad feminism. U.S. feminists adore people like Albright or H Clinton. They are not credible.

JIMI JAMES Alberto 2 days ago ,

They all suffer severe complex mental deficiencies, this is why the people rejected likes of clintons, bush +co's

Kjell Hasthi Gonzogal 3 days ago ,

US and its 100,000 Intelligence community working for "Monaco" makes as much sense as Hitler worked for Luxembourgh. With 22 new Capitol Hill size buildings in Washington DC for CIA since 2001, they could house whole Israeli state administration alone

Billo Kjell Hasthi 2 days ago ,

I think maybe they do.

[Oct 13, 2018] Haley's Poor Record at the U.N. The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... Haley lied a lot, but maybe half the time at least probably had no idea she was lying. Don't give her too much credit. Remember "Binomo." ..."
Oct 13, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Harry Kazianis reviews Nikki Haley's record as ambassador to the U.N. and finds it very lacking:

That was my problem with the ambassador. Not that she did a bad job, not that she was a terrible representative of our nation's interests, but simply that she lacked of the experience and natural abilities needed in such a role. Spitting back Trumpian rhetoric is not enough to be credible on the world's stage.

Kazianis is right that Haley was ill-prepared for the job, and I would add that she made a habit of making false claims , unreasonable demands, and unnecessary threats . Whether she was threatening military action over missile tests, telling lies about the nuclear deal with Iran , or warning that the U.S. would be "taking names" of the states that didn't fall in line, Haley proved herself to be a poor diplomat and an ineffective representative of the United States. Her time at the U.N. was marked by unwarranted, cruel actions to punish the Palestinian civilian population, a disgraceful defense of the massacre of protesters in Gaza, and a misguided decision to withdraw from the Human Rights Council. While the world's worst humanitarian crisis intensified in Yemen with U.S. support for the Saudi coalition, Haley was too busy trying to distract everyone's attention by shouting about Iran.

Haley didn't have a good grasp of substance, and instead relied on talking points to a fault. Kazianis quotes a Republican consultant's view of the ambassador:

"Haley was a great spokesperson for the administration; in fact, she was great at parroting whatever lines Trump wanted her to deliver," the consultant continued. "But for anyone who has ever interacted with her, one thing became very clear. The second she left the land of talking points, any time she was asked to discuss any issue in any depth, it was apparent there was nothing there. And that is not what we need as ambassador at the UN."

It is a sign of how little many of her fellow hawks care about substantive knowledge that several of them greeted news of her resignation with dismay. Max Boot described her resignation as a "sad moment," and Bill Kristol began fantasizing about a primary challenge to Trump that will never happen. When these are the people touting Haley's record, it is a safe bet that the U.S. will be better off being represented by someone else at the U.N.


b. October 10, 2018 at 2:14 pm

"When these are the people touting Haley's record, it is a safe bet that the U.S. will be better off being represented by someone else at the U.N."

Sara Palin? She can see 2022 from here house, too.

b. , says: October 10, 2018 at 2:20 pm
Haley was just another Cargo Cult politician.

Following Reagan and Trump, the only reason we don't see actual actors hired for candidacies and campaigns is because the best Judas Goat for any election rodeo is one that believes its own BS.

Blimbax , says: October 10, 2018 at 4:26 pm
Thaomos says, "A diplomat is a person sent to lie on behalf of their country. Maybe Haley just got tired of doing it."

Haley lied a lot, but maybe half the time at least probably had no idea she was lying. Don't give her too much credit. Remember "Binomo."

Minnesota Mary , says: October 10, 2018 at 7:48 pm
Let's face it. Trump did not have an army of qualified people to fill government and administration posts. He had to fill positions from the Neocon pool of bureaucrats. Nikki Haley is a mind-numbed robot, drunk on Neocon Kool-Aid and Premillenial Dispensationalism. Really sad that Trump picked her for the UN slot. Even sadder is he will replace her with someone just as bad, but more clever at disguising a rotten foreign policy.

[Oct 12, 2018] 'Land of censorship home of the fake' Alternative voices on Facebook and Twitter's crackdown

Normal people do not browse Facebook, anyway.
Notable quotes:
"... "misleading users." ..."
"... Journalist Glenn Greenwald hit out at those on the left who cheered Facebook and Twitter's coordinated 'deplatforming' of right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in August. "Those who demanded Facebook & other Silicon Valley giants censor political content...are finding that content that they themselves support & like end up being repressed," he wrote. "That's what has happened to every censorship advocate in history." ..."
"... "a wider war on dissident narratives in online media." ..."
"... "eyes and ears" ..."
Oct 12, 2018 | www.rt.com

Alternative voices online are incensed after Facebook and Twitter closed down hundreds of political media pages ahead of November's crucial midterm elections. Facebook says they broke its spam rules, they say it's censorship. Some 800 pages spanning the political spectrum, from left-leaning organizations like The Anti Media, to flag-waving opinion sites like Right Wing News and Nation in Distress, were shut down. Other pages banned include those belonging to police brutality watchdog groups Filming Cops and Policing the Police.

Even RT America's Rachel Blevins found her own page banned for posts that were allegedly "misleading users."

Journalist Glenn Greenwald hit out at those on the left who cheered Facebook and Twitter's coordinated 'deplatforming' of right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in August. "Those who demanded Facebook & other Silicon Valley giants censor political content...are finding that content that they themselves support & like end up being repressed," he wrote. "That's what has happened to every censorship advocate in history."

In America, Conservatives were the first to complain about unfair treatment by left-leaning Silicon Valley tech giants. However, leftist sites have increasingly become targets in what Blumenthal calls "a wider war on dissident narratives in online media." In identifying enemies in this "war," Facebook has partnered up with the Digital Forensics Lab, an offshoot of NATO-sponsored think tank the Atlantic Council. The DFL has promised to be Facebook's "eyes and ears" in the fight against disinformation (read: alternative viewpoints).

[Oct 12, 2018] Southfront's published

Oct 12, 2018 | southfront.org

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 12, 2018 2:40:46 PM | 45

[Oct 12, 2018] Kuwait and Bahrein might reevaluate relations with Syria, the UAE might slowly move out the Yemen war

Oct 12, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Virgile , Oct 12, 2018 10:40:45 AM | link

Qatar is jubilating! Turkey, too! Saudi Arabia will be criticized and isolated as most GCC countries would dissaprove and prefer to dissociate from such a crime. Dismembering the body of a dead moslem man is a very serious crime in Islam.

Kuwait and Bahrein are already cozyng up with Syria, the UAE is slowly moving out the Yemen war and reviewing ist relation with Syria.

Kashoogi's alleged martyr may save Yemenis lives and may have the Western world faced to the reality that in the region, the evil is not Iran but their best friend, Saudi Arabia and its smiling monster MBS.

Kashoogi may have succeeded unintentionally to destabilize MBS and probably trigger his removal. The USA will have no problem in sacrificing MBS for the sake of keeping the Saudi milking under control. The only problem will be that it will reflect on Kushner-MBS Grand Palestinian plan.

Maybe Kashoogi's love for fiancee made him take the risk to get a divorce paper from the Saudi Arabia consulate and be killed.

A sad ending to a love story.

dh , Oct 12, 2018 3:19:01 PM | link

@75 Why should Trump make a big issue about some dead Arab? Because he was a journalist? Trump hates journalists.

If bleeding heart progressives want to make a fuss so be it. He knows his base don't give a shit about the world outside the USA as long as they buy American arms.

[Oct 12, 2018] The Shaky Case That Russia Manipulated Social Media to Tip the 2016 Election by Gareth Porter

Russians under each Facebook account
Oct 12, 2018 | original.antiwar.com
adopted false US personas online to get people to attend rallies and conduct other political activities. (An alternative explanation is that IRA is a purely commercial, and not political, operation.)

Whether those efforts even came close to swaying US voters in the 2016 presidential election, as Shane and Mazzetti claimed, is another matter.

Shane and Mazzetti might argue that they are merely citing figures published by the social media giants Facebook and Twitter, but they systematically failed to report the detailed explanations behind the gross figures used in each case, which falsified their significance.

Their most dramatic assertions came in reporting the alleged results of the IRA's efforts on Facebook. "Even by the vertiginous standards of social media," they wrote, "the reach of their effort was impressive: 2,700 fake Facebook accounts, 80,000 posts, many of them elaborate images with catchy slogans, and an eventual audience of 126 million Americans on Facebook alone."

Then, to dramatize that "eventual audience" figure, they observed, "That was not far short of the 137 million people who would vote in the 2016 presidential elections."

But as impressive as these figures may appear at first glance, they don't really indicate an effective attack on the US election process at all. In fact, without deeper inquiry into their meaning, those figures were grossly misleading.

A Theoretical Possibility

What Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch actually said in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last October was quite different from what the Times reporters claimed. "Our best estimate is that approximately 126,000 million people may have been served one of these [IRA-generated] stories at some time during the two year period," Stretch said.

Stretch was expressing a theoretical possibility rather than an established accomplishment. Facebook was saying that it estimated 126 million Facebook members might have gotten at least one story from the IRA –- not over the ten week election period but over 194 weeks during the two years 2015 through 2017. That, figure, in turn, was based on the estimate that 29 million people might have gotten at least one story in their Facebook feed over that same two-year period and on the assumption that they shared it with others at a particular rate.

The first problem with citing those figures as evidence of impact on the 2016 election is that Facebook did not claim that all or even most of those 80,000 IRA posts were election–related. It offered no data on what proportion of the feeds to those 29 million people was, in fact, election-related. But Stretch did testify that IRA content over that two–year period represented just four thousandths (.0004) of the total content of Facebook newsfeeds.

Thus each piece of IRA content in a twitter feed was engulfed in 23,000 pieces of non-IRA content.

That is an extremely important finding, because, as Facebook's Vice President for News Feed, Adam Moseri, acknowledged in 2016 , Facebook subscribers actually read only about 10 percent of the stories Facebook puts in their News Feed every day. The means that very few of the IRA stories that actually make it into a subscriber's news feed on any given day are actually read.

Facebook did conduct research on what it calls "civic engagement" during the election period, and the researchers concluded that the "reach" of the content shared by what they called "fake amplifiers" was "marginal compared to the volume of civic content shared during the US elections." That reach, they said, was "statistically very small" in relation to "overall engagement on political issues."

Shane and Mazzaetti thus failed to report any of the several significant caveats and disclaimers from Facebook itself that make their claim that Russian election propaganda "reached" 126 million Americans extremely misleading.

Tiny IRA Twitter Footprint

Shane and Mazzetti's treatment of the role of Twitter in the alleged Russian involvement in the election focuses on 3,814 Twitter accounts said to be associated with the IRA, which supposedly "interacted with 1.4 million Americans." Although that number looks impressive without any further explanation, more disaggregated data provide a different picture: more than 90 percent of the Tweets from the IRA had nothing to do with the election, and those that did were infinitesimally few in relation to the entire Twitter stream relating to the 2016 campaign.

Twitter's own figures show that those 3,814 IRA-linked accounts posted 175,993 Tweets during the ten weeks of the election campaign, but that only 8.4 percent of the total number of IRA-generated Tweets were election-related.

Twitter estimated that those 15,000 IRA-related tweets represented less than .00008 (eight one hundred thousandths) of the estimated total of 189 million tweets that Twitter identified as election-related during the ten-week election campaign. Twitter has offered no estimate of how many Tweets, on average were in the daily twitter stream of those people notified by Twitter and what percentage of them were election-related Tweets from the IRA. Any such notification would certainly show, however, that the percentage was extremely small and that very few would have been read.

Research by Darren Linvill and Patrick Warren of Clemson University on 2.9 million Tweets from those same 3,814 IRA accounts over a two year period has revealed that nearly a third of its Tweets had normal commercial content or were not in English; another third were straight local newsfeeds from US localities or mostly non-political "hashtag games", and the final third were on "right" or "left" populist themes in US society.

Furthermore, there were more IRA Tweets on political themes in 2017 than there had been during the election year. As a graph of those tweets over time shows, those "right" and "left" Tweets peaked not during the election but during the summer of 2017.

The Mysterious 50,000 'Russia-Linked' Accounts

Twitter also determined that another 50,258 automated Twitter accounts that tweeted about the election were associated with Russia and that they have generated a total to 2.1 million Tweets – about one percent of the total number election-related tweets of during the period.

But despite media coverage of those Tweets suggesting that they originated with the Russian government, the evidence doesn't indicate that at all. Twitter's Sean Edgett told the Senate Intelligence Committee last November that Twitter had used an "expansive approach to defining what qualifies as a Russian-linked account". Twitter considered an account to be "Russian" if any of the following was found: it was created in Russia or if the user registered the account with a Russian phone carrier or a Russian email; the user's display name contains Cyrillic characters; the user frequently Tweets in Russian, or the user has logged in from any Russian IP address.

Edgett admitted in a statement in January, however, that there were limitations on its ability to determine the origins of the users of these accounts. And a past log-in from a Russian IP address does not mean the Russian government controls an account. Automated accounts have bought and sold for many years on a huge market, some of which is located in Russia. As Scott Shane reported in September 2017, a Russian website BuyAccs.com offers tens and even hundreds of thousands of Twitter accounts for bulk purchase.

Twitter also observed that "a high concentration of automated engagement and content originated from data centers and users accessing Twitter via Virtual Private Networks ("VPNs") and proxy servers," which served to mask the geographical origin of the tweet. And that practice was not limited to the 50,000 accounts in question. Twitter found that locations of nearly 12 percent of the Tweets generated during the election period were masked because of use of such networks and servers.

Twitter identified over half of the Tweets, coming from about half of the 50,000 accounts as being automated, and the data reported on activity on those 50,000 accounts in question indicates that both the Trump and Clinton campaigns were using the automated accounts in question. The roughly 23,000 automated accounts were the source of 1.34 million Tweets, which represented .63 percent of the total election-related Tweets. But the entire 50,000 accounts produced about 1 percent of total election-related tweets.

Hillary Clinton got .55 percent of her total retweets from the 50,000 automated accounts Twitter calls "Russia-linked" and .62 percent of her "likes" from them. Those percentages are close to the percentage of total election-related Tweets generated by those same automated accounts. That suggests that her campaign had roughly the same proportion of automated accounts among the 50,000 accounts as it did in the rest of the accounts during the campaign.

Trump, on the other hand, got 1.8 percent of this total "likes" and 4.25 percent of his total Retweets for the whole election period from those accounts, indicating his campaign was more invested in the automated accounts that were the source of two-thirds of the Tweets in those 50,000 "Russia-linked" accounts.

The idea promoted by Shane and Mazzetti that the Russian government seriously threatened to determine the winner of the election does not hold up when the larger social media context is examined more closely. Contrary to what the Times' reporters and the corporate media in general would have us believe, the Russian private sector effort accounted for a minuscule proportion of the election-related output of social media. The threat to the US political system in general and its electoral system in particular is not Russian influence; it's in part a mainstream news media that has lost perspective on the truth.

Gareth Porter, an investigative historian and journalist specializing in US national security policy, received the UK-based Gellhorn Prize for journalism for 2011 for articles on the U.S. war in Afghanistan. His new book is Manufactured Crisis: the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare . He can be contacted at porter.gareth50@gmail.com . Reprinted from Consortium News with the author's permission.

[Oct 12, 2018] Sic Semper Tyrannis RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 11 OCTOBER 2018 by Patrick Armstrong

Notable quotes:
"... its russia and chinas job to assist america to reach the acceptance stage as peacefully as possible while allowing as much face saving as possible for washington and their ruling class. at the end of the day everyone wants to go on living. the next 15 years ought to be quite exciting. ..."
Oct 12, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

SKRIPALMANIA. Has now been completely outsourced to Bellingcat . Which tells the discerning observer two things: 1) there is no evidence 2) the truth is probably the opposite. (And for those of you who take Bellingcat seriously: become discerning .)


Araminta Smade , 16 hours ago

SKRIPALMANIA. Has now been completely outsourced to Bellingcat. Which tells the discerning observer two things: 1) there is no evidence 2) the truth is probably the opposite. (And for those of you who take Bellingcat seriously: become discerning.)

To those of you who are like myself deeply sceptical about this story can I recommend this article in the UK Independent newspaper.

We should be asking for answers about the Skripals and Bellingcat – and not just from Russia. Mary Dejevsky.

https://www.independent.co....

Snow Flake -> Araminta Smade , 5 hours ago
It has transatlantic connections.

Higgins has entered the polite academic space both in the Uk and the US in lightening speed. And as a result of that got special attention by media. Not only that, but in the US he additionally joined an important cog of the EU-US think thank world. The Atlantic Council made him a non-resident "Senior Fellow". As expert in digital forensics, open source and the future of Europe.

When the huge open source "gold rush" caught my attention in the early post 9/11 years, all the excited members I witnessed more close up were quite system conform. That was after the Iraq war intelligence expertise. That's why it made me wonder. Thus,the story of Eliot Higgins seems no outlier from my rather limited perspective.

And yes, I am with Paul Robinson, who a while ago noticed the same contradictions as Mary Dejevsky. On one hand the Russians seem to be omnipotent, on the other they have all these bungling secret service members that are so easy to out. But notice not by a bunch of laymen, but by a crowd led by a serious senior expert and academic. ;)

Peddling Certainty:

https://irrussianality.word...

Snow Flake -> Araminta Smade , 5 hours ago
It has transatlantic connections.

Higgins has entered the polite academic space both in the Uk and the US in lightening speed. And as a result of that got special attention by media. Not only that, but in the US he additionally joined an important cog of the EU-US think thank world. The Atlantic Council made him a non-resident "Senior Fellow". As expert in digital forensics, open source and the future of Europe.

When the huge open source "gold rush" caught my attention in the early post 9/11 years, all the excited members I witnessed more close up were quite system conform. That was after the Iraq war intelligence expertise. That's why it made me wonder. Thus,the story of Eliot Higgins seems no outlier from my rather limited perspective.

And yes, I am with Paul Robinson, who a while ago noticed the same contradictions as Mary Dejevsky. On one hand the Russians seem to be omnipotent, on the other they have all these bungling secret service members that are so easy to out. But notice not by a bunch of laymen, but by a crowd led by a serious senior expert and academic. ;)

Peddling Certainty:

https://irrussianality.word...

FB -> Snow Flake , an hour ago
I think some people here are actually taking Eliott Higgins far too seriously...he is still an uneducated underwear salesman...and acts like it...case in point his recent twitter outburst at Ted Postol, calling him an 'idiot'...that just shows what a substance free clown this guy is...

I briefly looked at that blog article linked to by snowflake and it is basically verbal diarrhea...bottom line is that Higgins and that Bellincat 'outfit' are best simply ignored...not worth the time or mental bandwidth to even think about...

smoothieX12 . -> Snow Flake , 2 hours ago
Atlantic Council has a very great Ph.D consultant, and strategists' strategist and tacticians' tactician, Dr. Blank. He, of all places, taught in US Army War College. He taught, of course, about Russia, since he has Ph.D in Soviet/Russian "history" or whatever passes as such in US "Russian Studies" field.

http://www.wikistrat.com/ex...

His strategic concepts are so devoid of even basic high school level knowledge of Russia (and her geography, BTW) that one is forced to ask how is it even possible to have this kind of "experts"? Among many outlandish ideas Dr. Blank proposed in his academic career dedicated to fighting evil Russians was to send US Navy to the Azov Sea to demonstrate the US Naval might.

http://www.atlanticcouncil....

This was one of the most profound facepalm moments of my life--I mean it. Not only Dr. Blank has no clue about Russia, he also has no clue about US Navy. Yet, he is an expert, alright.

TTG , 19 hours ago
You left the best part out of that State Department policy statement. He announced a new position, the Senior Advisor for Russian Malign Activities and Trends or SARMAT for short. That's straight out of the axis of evil mindset. How can we have a sober and productive policy towards Russia with crap like this?
PRC90 -> TTG , 8 hours ago
I thought that was from Duffleblog but you're right: https://www.state.gov/p/eur...
Third para from the bottom. Part of that $380 million must be Bellingcat's budget.
Timothy Hagios -> TTG , 9 hours ago
I can't wait to see what awful person is selected for this role. Also, Sarmat is also the name for Russia's newest ICBM, which makes one wonder what was on the back of their minds when they came up with this one.
ted richard , 4 hours ago
washingtons foreign policy visa vie russia and china is as yet unable to reach the psychological stage of sublimation. frustrated, angry and demoralised that they can not militarily atttack russia once and for all putting paid ....to who is the biggest dog in the yard...... american elites lash out ineffectually using various media, economic and financial games to assuage their inability to get their way.

each iteration of this plan becomes weaker and less effective than the previous one leading to more rage at being thwarted.

where the current crop of american ruling elites are concerned we are talking about 2 factors.... a profound lack of a really good cosmopolitan education and a near total lack of appreciation for how weak the american industrial base has become the past 30 years (you can not intimidate powerful nations if your military technology is 1 or more generations BEHIND)

an apt understanding of washingtons dilemma is best grasped reading the kubler-ross stages of grieving over a dying loved one. in this case the dying loved one is american exceptionalism and the l godlike power that goes with it for the 1/100 or 1%.

its russia and chinas job to assist america to reach the acceptance stage as peacefully as possible while allowing as much face saving as possible for washington and their ruling class. at the end of the day everyone wants to go on living. the next 15 years ought to be quite exciting.

[Oct 12, 2018] Christ was crucified because of the Russians. GRU and Putin conspired to poison him at the Last Supper. The actual death on the Cross was staged to cover the poisoning.

Notable quotes:
"... Bellingcat is due with the official report shortly. Stay tuned. ..."
Oct 12, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Red Ryder , Oct 11, 2018 5:13:17 PM | link

Christ was crucified because of the Russians. GRU and Putin conspired to poison him at the Last Supper. The actual death on the Cross was staged to cover the poisoning.

"Highly Likely" Iran had a hand in it also. Judas was a 'Persian', of course, and would have been a Shiite if he hadn't been suicidal and lived another 800 years or so.

Bellingcat is due with the official report shortly. Stay tuned.

[Oct 12, 2018] Austraia is staunch member of five eyes and that shows.

Oct 12, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter AU 1 , Oct 12, 2018 5:34:22 AM | link

Official propaganda here in oz.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-11/bellingcat-probing-whether-russian-spies-compromised-mh17-probe/10362090
The Malaysian's remarks surprised observers. At a parliamentary hearing in Canberra, foreign affairs legal officer James Larsen was asked whether Russia was directly in the frame for the atrocity.

"Australia believes there is conclusive evidence," he said.

Mr Loke's remarks also caught the attention of Christo Grozev, an investigator with Bellingcat, a London-based reporting website that has recently dragged several of Russia's covert disruptions into the light.

It was a "surprising dissension", he said. Malaysia was the "only country that did not fully endorse the findings of the joint investigation team".

In an interview with the ABC, Mr Grozev said Bellingcat was now actively probing whether Russia had played a role in this public display of disunity.

The team's "working hypothesis", he said, was that the entire Malaysian contingent, or one member of it, had been compromised by Russia's spies.
.......

Col from OZ , Oct 12, 2018 6:47:57 AM | link

32 Peter keep up the good work! Ukraine IS RESPONSIBLY for MH17. I am of the opinion it was premeditated too.

[Oct 12, 2018] It no longer possible to hide the fact that Bellingcat is a propaganda operation financed by intelligence againcies, not that different from White Helmetss

Oct 12, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

jsb , Oct 11, 2018 6:00:34 PM | link

@Red Ryder (14)

Even Bellingcat beginning to be outed by the Independent

not seen till now though is any questioning of Bellingcat's credentials in mainstream media. So let me hand you over, without further ado and with hearty if surprised approval, to Mary Dejevsky: not known as a Kremlin stooge or Putin troll. Yet here she is, in today's Independent, asking in all sincerity and with admirable bluntness just WTF is Bellingcat?

[Oct 12, 2018] If the gas pipeline project is indeed implemented, then Kiev will demand that a penalty against against Russia be awarded the Ukraine for the loss it will suffer because of the redundancy of its gas transport system.

Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile October 5, 2018 at 12:58 am

... .. ...

Ukraine Naftogaz Commercial Director Yuriy Vitrenko, in an interview with "The Fifth Channel" has spoken of a plan that has been prepared in order to protect Naftogaz interests in the event of the launch of "Nord Stream-2".

According to him, if the gas pipeline project is indeed implemented, then Kiev will demand that a penalty against against Russia be awarded the Ukraine for the loss it will suffer because of the redundancy of its gas transport system.

The loss incured has been estimated by the Ukraine to be $12 billion. A lawsuit has already been filed by Naftogaz for international arbitration.

https://www.rbc.ru/politics/05/10/2018/5bb704ec9a7947bd43fa167c?utm_source=yxnews&utm_medium=desktop

Right!

So for several years I have been shopping at a Pyatyorochka supermarket around the corner from our house. Now there's a new Billa supermarket around the other corner. It has a wider range of goods and is very competitive as regards its Pyatorocka prices, so I now do most of my shopping at Billa.

Does this mean Pyatyorachka can sue me for damages because of the loss of income it is suffering because of my choice to use another retail outlet?

I shall check with the Swedish court of arbitration.

Stay tuned!

Mark Chapman October 5, 2018 at 8:30 am
Perhaps they would get further by suing the US Department of State. I'm pretty sure that if it were not for them, Ukraine's gas transit system would still be in use. Ukraine could at least make a sensible case, which they cannot do against Russia. Mind you, a UK judge would probably rule in their favour, because simply wanting to get at Russia seems to be good enough these days – making a sensible case is not required.

[Oct 12, 2018] US senators demand Magnitsky Act probe, sanctions on Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi disappearance

Notable quotes:
"... What we are seeing now are the consequences of classic imperial over-reach – extending one's power so far and so generally that it hoists itself upon its own petard! The implosion of the USA continues afoot, Hillary Clinton being one of its cheerleaders (according to her recent Amappaling interview). ..."
Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al October 11, 2018 at 2:22 am

RT.com: US senators demand Magnitsky Act probe, sanctions on Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi disappearance
https://www.rt.com/usa/440922-trump-letter-senators-khashoggi/

####

All kinds of delicious can proceed from this.

The whole Magnitsky Act thing was supposed to be a convenient tool of western foreign policy cloaked in Human Rights sugar to justify punished the usual suspects ad perpituitam, not for attacking allies. It looks like some US politicians actually think it is about human rights! They'll need to practice their best acting to explain why some are on the list and others aren't, along with compliant media and governments.

What we are seeing now are the consequences of classic imperial over-reach – extending one's power so far and so generally that it hoists itself upon its own petard! The implosion of the USA continues afoot, Hillary Clinton being one of its cheerleaders (according to her recent Amappaling interview).

Trump is also promising a rapid USG reaction to India buying S-400s, so it really is time to stock up on the popcorn. I knew for sure that this year would certainly be more interesting than last year, but 2019 should be a corker. Woo.

[Oct 12, 2018] Link to an interesting article about declassified CIA documents on labour camps in the Soviet Union during the 1950s

Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Jen October 10, 2018 at 6:21 pm

Link to an interesting article about declassified CIA documents on labour camps in the Soviet Union during the 1950s:
http://members5.boardhost.com/xxxxx/msg/1539095708.html

I linked to the Lifeboat News paste because it may be easier for some people to read but if you want to read the original article, here it is:
https://stalinistkatyusha.wixsite.com/stalinist-katyusha/single-post/2018/10/04/The-Truth-about-the-Soviet-Gulag -- Surprisingly-Revealed-by-the-CIA

As we might have suspected already, the gulags were not nearly so horrible as Western news media outlets made them out to be in the past.

Evgeny October 10, 2018 at 11:39 pm
If you have read Solzhenitsyn's "In the First Circle" -- which is partially autobiographical -- the basic premise of the story is that he has voluntarily left the privileged camp (where he was supposed to do an engineering work) to a common camp where he would do physical labor. He did that so that he would be free to write. Not to write in a traditional sense -- he couldn't write a manuscript of course -- but he composed parts of his novels, memorized them and occasionally recited them to keep them fresh in his memory. From that anecdote we can see that at least the Gulag camps were supposed to be survivable.
yalensis October 11, 2018 at 2:17 am
Thanks for posting this interesting piece, Jen.

"During the period from 1921 to the present time for counterrevolutionary crimes were convicted 3,777,380 people, including to capital punishment – 642,980 people to the conent in the camps and prisons for a period of 25 years old and under – 2,369,220 into exile and expulsion – 765,190 people.

"Of the total number of convicts, approximately convicted: 2,900,000 people – College of OGPU, NKVD and triples Special meeting and 877,000 people – courts by military tribunals, and Spetskollegiev Military Collegium.

"It should be noted that established by Decree on November 3, 1934 Special Meeting of the NKVD which lasted until September 1, 1953 – 442,531 people were convicted, including to capital punishment – 10,101 people to prison – 360,921 people to exile and expulsion (within the country) – 57,539 people and other punishments (offset time in detention, deportation abroad, compulsory treatment) – 3,970 people "

I think these numbers prove a point that I have made numerous times, namely that the Stalinist repressions (putting aside the mixing of political prisoners with regular criminals, which muddies up the numbers) were mainly directed at Stalin's political rivals, and not at ordinary people.
And that shills like Solzhenitsyn were simply making a lot of shit up, to support the Westie narrative.
I have no tolerance for the Stalin adulators and Furries either (Stalin was a mean person and overall jerk), but the facts are more on their side, than on the other.

I took some criticism on my blog for calling the Stalin repressions "Office Politics on Steroids", but in essence that is what they were. Here, by the way, is another interesting article I saw recently on the repression and execution of Nikolai Bukharin, still another one of the Old Bolsheviks who got in Stalin's way:

http://www.aif.ru/society/history/smert_lyubimca_partii_kak_nikolay_buharin_stal_vragom_naroda

MoscowExile October 10, 2018 at 9:14 pm
Only yesterday I was working here at ExxonMobil, whose Moscow HQ is situated slap-bang next to the US embassy. Whilst waiting for my client to turn up, I started reading a well-made, luxuriously bound coffee-table volume, filled with glossy pages of wonderful photographs and published by that company about its Sakhalin venture.

The foreword was written by the ExxonMobil CEO. It started thus:

Sakhalin Island, where the tsar's labor camps were situated and which were so graphicaly described by Chekov

Welcome to Russia, arseholes!

yalensis October 11, 2018 at 2:06 am
Did they mean this book, by Anton ChekHov?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakhalin_Island_(Chekhov)

Or maybe they were talking about that other book, written by Ensign Chekov of the Star Ship Enterprise. I heard that he also visited Sakhalin, on an earlier voyage, when his ship was docking there for some R&R.

[Oct 12, 2018] I suspect The Netherlands are being targeted because among other things the International Court of Crimes and the International Court of Justice are based in The Hague. One of these bone-shakers is that The Netherlands is a major corporate tax haven and as such competes with Britain and the US.

Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Jen October 4, 2018 at 2:49 pm

I suspect The Netherlands are being targeted because among other things the International Court of Crimes and the International Court of Justice are based in The Hague. There may be other reasons as well: the Dutch must have a fair few skeletons in their collective closet and the US could very well target one of these and bring the entire wardrobe crashing down and exposing all its sordid secrets.

One of these bone-shakers is that The Netherlands is a major corporate tax haven and as such competes with Britain and the US.

http://www.nomoretax.eu/netherlands-tax-haven/

kirill October 4, 2018 at 7:49 am
Pence is now accusing of China of hacking the US elections. I know China has been lobbying and making campaign finance contributions in the past, but the US accusations have a clear pattern. Recall how US blacks were tagged as rapists of fine white virgins. This reputation was then used to justify apartheid laws. The US is basically accusing Russia and China of violation of America's "dignity". And is trying to globally treat them as segregated blacks. The same tired shtick for the "exceptional" nation with a self-assigned "manifest destiny". The country that needs containment is the USA. It has clear, psychotic ambitions to rule the world.
Moscow Exile October 6, 2018 at 2:16 am
Coming from government ministers of the most powerful state on earth, do not all these accusations directed against all those other states that are populated by sad, lesser beings who are envious of the "Shining City on the Hill", the "Home of the Brave and Land of the Free", that epitome of human society, that place where "history has ended", not sound somwhat hysterical, a symptom of weakness, of self-doubt concerrning the hegemon's might and integrity?
kirill October 6, 2018 at 4:47 am
They need an excuse for their colonial racket. During the USSR era, they had the "threat of communism" to rally local elites in developing countries and also used this "threat" as an excuse to install death squad junta regimes. The death of the USSR deprived them of the "threat" fig leaf so they had to ramp up the humanitarian concern BS. Countries need to be controlled by demonizing their leaders for being tyrants and terrorist sponsors. For violating human rights by not letting Soros and NATzO funded 5th column operations called NGOs do their thing. It seems these transparent pretexts are still effective at convincing people around the world that America and its vassals are a collection of noble knights doing good deeds and not a pack of hyenas engaged in gang mutilation of countries that leads to millions of deaths of innocent civilians. What was the point of Libya, Iraq, Syria, and all the other regime change victims? There was no arrival of democracy and safety. There was only needless death and degradation.

[Oct 12, 2018] The west returns compulsively to the region because it thinks that this is where things might tear loose; independence movements in Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan. Where, as the western regime-change impulse fondly returns time and again, issues of fundamentalist religion can be played upon to flare into conflict

Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman October 6, 2018 at 10:19 am

The west returns compulsively to the region because it thinks that this is where things might tear loose; independence movements in Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan. Where, as the western regime-change impulse fondly returns time and again, issues of fundamentalist religion can be played upon to flare into conflict – it has worked for the west all around the world, turning Shi'ite against Sunni and this one against that one. It often signals its interest with plaintive articles by pro-democracy think-tanks implore Vladimir Putin to let the Chechens be free, instead of imposing a succession of overlords upon them, bla, bla, you know the drill. How can Putin diss the mighty USA for supporting oppressors of choice around the world when he won't man up and let the Chechens have their own free state?

In fact, Putin has said in the past that the Chechens can be free and independent if that is what they really want. But implied in that is that Moscow will no longer underwrite the new state; that it will have to achieve economic viability itself.

Normally that is where the west comes in, singing siren songs of sovereignty-association and fabulous prosperity to be had in attaching oneself to the western orbit. But so far not enough people buy it – there are always the rebel darlings, the tearaways who bleat discontent and stir the imagination of the western press. But just as often they are religious nutters and suicide bombers who just want a dramatic death. Like that chap and his missus – Dagestan, I think it was, a few years back – who had their apartment shot to rubble with them in it after they repeatedly refused repeated offers to surrender and live, deigning only for a hi-lift crane bucket to come up to the balcony to give their daughter into the arms of her wailing granny. Martyrdom and progressive leadership almost never flourish in the same person, for some reason. Except maybe for Jeremy Corbyn.

Jen October 5, 2018 at 12:57 pm
Just looked up Ingushetia on Wikipedia and found it's a small federal republic whose population as of 2014 was less than 500,000.

I rather doubt then that thousands of people turned up in Magas to protest. If there are no aerial photographs of the protesters, then we have to treat the figures reported by Reuters and other news agencies outside Russia with suspicion.

The OC Media article at this link states hundreds turned up to protest and the photographs appear to back up that statement:
http://oc-media.org/protests-erupt-in-ingushetia-as-mps-say-chechnya-land-swap-vote-was-falsified/

There is dispute over the size of the area being transferred to Chechnya: the area officially being transferred amounts to less than 2,000 hectares but according to Ingushetian opposition group Mekhk Kkhel 58,000 hectares are being transferred. The difference between the figures seems suspicious and the upper figure is likely to be an exaggeration.

et Al October 6, 2018 at 6:06 am
Nice source Jen:

http://oc-media.org/about-us/about-oc-media/

We strive to shed light and offer a variety of per­spec­tives on ongoing social, economic and political devel­op­ments in the region, including in: human rights, ethnic and religious minori­ties, labour rights, gender and queer issues, devel­op­ment, as well as conflict dynamics in the region

OC Media was co-founded in January 2017 by Mari Nikuradze, Dominik K. Cagara, and Caroline Sutcliffe, initially under the auspices of Chai Khana NGO. It has received funding from the UK Government's Conflict, Stability and Security Fund, the European Endowment for Democracy, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung South Caucasus Office, Open Society Foun­da­tions, and the United Kingdom Foreign and Com­mon­wealth Office, with joint com­mis­sions with Inter­na­tion­al Alert (EPNK/European Union Ini­tia­tive), Civil.ge (COBERM), and Open Democracy Russia.

[Oct 12, 2018] Terrorists Want America to Reverse Engineer Russian Machineguns by Michael Peck

Notable quotes:
"... US Special Forces Command wants to copy Russian firearms in the US to give away to proxies around the world ..."
Oct 12, 2018 | russia-insider.com

US Special Forces Command wants to copy Russian firearms in the US to give away to proxies around the world

Wed, Oct 10, 2018 | 500 words 4,029 45 Why would U.S. special forces want to manufacture Russian machine guns?

Just watch any video of a conflict such as Iraq and Syria, and the answer becomes clear. Many of the combatants are using Russian or Soviet weapons, or local copies thereof, from rifles to rocket launchers to heavy machine guns mounted on pickups. Which means that when U.S. special forces provide some of these groups with weapons, they have to scrounge through the global arms market to buy Russian hardware as well as spare parts.

So U.S. Special Forces Command, which oversees America's various commando units, has an idea: instead of buying Russian weapons, why not build their own? That's why USSOCOM is asking U.S. companies to come up with a plan to manufacture Russian and other foreign weapons.

The goal is to "develop an innovative domestic capability to produce fully functioning facsimiles of foreign-made weapons that are equal to or better than what is currently being produced internationally," according to the USSOCOM Small Business Innovation Research proposal .

v76 a day ago ,

"develop an innovative domestic capability to produce fully functioning facsimiles of foreign-made weapons that are equal to or better than what is currently being produced internationally,"

I laughed and stopped reading.

Kjell Hasthi v76 a day ago ,

It is a good story. US needed so many AK-47 for African terrorists group, killing Blacks, they had to build a new factory in Africa to handle demand. There were not that many AK-47 available on the black market

Think about that. Look into a mirror and say slowly
- WE LIBERALS ARE TERRORISTS

Mary Floyd Kjell Hasthi 3 hours ago ,

Actually, that should read: We American politicians and military are terrorists...the worst in the world

[Oct 12, 2018] The Boy Who Cried "Bear!!": a Norwegian Folk Tale

Notable quotes:
"... Remember that back in 2002 it was discovered that the US bugged the 767 of then Chinese Premier Jian Xiao-Ping. ..."
Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al October 4, 2018 at 9:06 am

The OPCW, like the Council of Europe, the OSCE, WADA and others have become deeply partizan and anti-Russian organizations since the 1990s. A handful of members put out a 'report' on whatever and claim that they have 'evidence' which they should be trusted on rather than provide. The rest of them go along with it. The only reason that makes sense for the attempted 'hack' on the OPCW is that Russia is being denied access to information. The argument, like everything else bullshit from the West is ' You don't show the evidence to the arsonist ' , sic MH17 because it has already been judged and found guilty.

So far WADA had to row back because of the Schimdt Report (which the media of course did not report) and all the reinstated athletes, Russia has suspended payments and may well pull out of the CoE because is it sick and tired of being bombarded with bs at every meeting as if medieval Bear baiting has returned in a modern form (it has).

All these organizations are destroying themselves. If anything all this shows how weak the West's soft power has become that they need to throw everything including the kitchen sink at Russia. They don't like resistance, let alone pushback. They're more careful about China of course and as we saw recently in the South Pacific the Chinese simply won't be cowed or intimidated.

As for the allegations about China, we'll most of us have followed the Snowden revelations about the USA and its Five Eyes global surveillance and infiltration, so its no surprise that China has been running its own operations. It's what countries do, though apparently they're not supposed to. Remember that back in 2002 it was discovered that the US bugged the 767 of then Chinese Premier Jian Xiao-Ping. * I think that all this reporting is a sign of desperation by the powers that be because all else has failed so far and they need to keep the narrative going.

By wrapping it all up together with a pretty pink bow it is to make it ' undeniable ' in the eyes of people who should know better.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1382116/China-finds-spy-bugs-in-Jiangs-Boeing-jet.html

et Al October 4, 2018 at 9:13 am
The temptation by Russia will be to publicly burn western spies in Russia, but it is just another in a long line of provocations to get Russia to respond angrily and make a big mistake. I can imagine RT being banned and other measures if things start to spiral.

This whole G(R)U story was ready to go at an appropriate moment, and I suspect one of the factors was Putin's recent comments about Skripal that had captured the world media's ear. By piling their report on shortly afterwards, they hope to hijack and amplify their narrative.

But, it's words, not meaningful actions. Either they will try and use this to kick off a whole new level of sanctions that they haven't before (high value, sensitive stuff like aerospace, tech etc.). It is possible the timing of this is a last ditch effort to try and get U-rope on board to stop NordSteam II or anything they think they can squeeze through. It's weakness through desperation and also to divert from their failures elsewhere.

et Al October 5, 2018 at 6:26 am
Or burn western spies in other countries that are far less friendly

It is interesting that one of the groups doxxing Russian 'spies' claim to be volunteers and patriots. No-one believes that in the slightest apart from morons. Like BellEnd cat, the number of cut-outs/plausible denial groups has mushroomed and ebb and flow with need. The volunteer claim is no protection.

James lake October 4, 2018 at 7:45 am
This all seems to coordinated distractions from domestic politics in the UK and the USA

Why are th Dutch going along with this nonsense?

kirill October 4, 2018 at 7:51 am
How can you ask such a question. Holland is a US vassal and the US uses its vassals to give its actions legitimacy by claiming that there is an "international" reaction to "Russian aggression". This is why the US always attacks countries around the world as part of some BS coalition of its own vassals. It is claiming its aggression is actually justified international action.
et Al October 4, 2018 at 8:48 am
The Dutch recently signed a big order to have 28 of their AH-64D Apache's 'upgraded' to the 'E' model which is really a re-manufactue and upgrade (from sand and heavy use in helping the US bomb tribesmen far away), & their Patriots to be modernized too.
moscowexile October 4, 2018 at 8:33 am
Because the so called chemical weapons watchdog, which the British government has recently made judge, jury and exucationer as regards all incidences of alleged uses of chemical agents as a weapon, namely it can now accuse and condemn whom it thinks are perpetrators of such chemical attacks, is based in The Hague, where the wicked Russians have allegedly been hacking etc. and, in general, up to their vile and nefarious deeds, as is, of course, in their nature of doing things, because they are vile barbarians, subhuman even
Moscow Exile October 4, 2018 at 9:51 am
I forget where I picked the following up ( from some Russian blog, because it is a translation). I saved it but forget to put in the source:

September 14, 2018
THE DUBIOUS ROLE OF THE OPCW
(OPCW NEVER uses the word "Novichok")
Even those people who are skeptical about what the British government says (and rightly so) tend to accept the „Novichok"-Psyop after they read that "OPCW confirms Novichok nerve agent in Amesbury". But if you actually read what the (summary) of the OPCW says, you will find the following:

"The team requested and received vials of biomedical samples COLLECTED BY THE BRITISH AUTHORITIES for delivery to the OPCW laboratory and subsequent analysis by OPCW designated laboratories for purposes of comparison and in order to verify the analysis conducted by the United Kingdom. (S 1671, Paragraph 6.)

This VIOLATES THEIR OWN RULES about ensuring a forensic "chain of custody" because they did not take bio-samples THEMSELVES but accepted the (2nd-hand) material that the 'authorities" had given them.

Regarding the "Premier Jour" perfume-story the OPCW has this to say:

"During the second deployment [6 weeks after Sturgess fell ill] the team collected a sample of the contents of a small bottle that the police had seized as a suspect item from the house of Charles Rowley in Amesbury" (P. 9)

In paragraph 10 they confirm that the results of the subsequent analysis "show that the sample consists of a toxic chemical at a concentration of 97-98% therefore considered to be "of high purity". (If Charly had got this on his skin he would not have survived )

Again, the chain of custody is non-existent: The OPCW did NOT collect the glass-vial in Rowley's flat, and could not verify its condition at the end of June, but they accepted what "the authorities" had told them about it and examined a sample of its content. There was plenty of time to tamper with the bottle before the OPCW arrived in Salisbury (so malfeasance cannot be ruled out).

(BTW, Sometimes you don't see the wood for the trees: WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would transport a deadly nerve-agent in a GLASS-BOTTLE??????)

Again they accepted material from the British authorities (as if they were incapable of any deception )
What former (Iraq) weapons-inspector Scott Ritter wrote about the OPCW „fact-finding" mission in Syria is also to a certain extent relevant in the Skripal-Saga:

"The problem, however, is that the OPCW is in no position to make the claim it did. One of the essential aspects of the kind of forensic investigation carried out by organizations such as the OPCW -- namely the application of scientific methods and techniques to the investigation of a crime -- is the concept of "chain of custody" of any samples that are being evaluated. This requires a seamless transition from the collection of the samples in question, the process of which must be recorded and witnessed, the sealing of the samples, the documentation of the samples, the escorted transportation of the samples to the laboratory, the confirmation and breaking of the seals under supervision, and the subsequent processing of the samples, all under supervision of the OPCW. Anything less than this means the integrity of the sample has been compromised -- in short, there is no sample."
(Article: Ex-weapons-inspector: Trump's Sarin Claims built on „Lie" by Scott Ritter)

Here, Ritter was referring the fact that the OPCW was not able to actually visit the (terrorist-controlled) "crime-scene" in Khan Sheikhoun but instead went to Turkey (!) where they accepted testimonies and material given to them by the White Helmets and other artificial "NGOs" ("highly likely" paid and organized by MI6, DGSE and the CIA). There they were able to observe autopsies of the 3 alleged victims of the poison-gas attack.

"An NGO had delivered the bodies to the hospitals, though OPCW will not publicly comment on the identity of the NGO. Samples from the bodies were provided to two separate laboratories, which independently confirmed indications of sarin or sarin-like substances.

In criminal proceedings, though, which are similar to the process followed by the UN in determining a war crime, it is a fundamental principle that ALL EVIDENCE be under the control of investigators AT ALL TIMES. That didn't happen in this case."

By the way, the OPCW-FFM in Syria (regarding the Douma-incident) was led by two BRITISH "experts":
The work of the fact finding mission [FFM] was criticized by the Russian Permanent Representative to the OPCW who complained on 14 April 2017 that:

"Under the mandate defined for [the FFM], its membership should be approved by the Syrian government, and it should be balanced. For some time, these provisions were observed somewhat, but then the mission was split into two groups. One [Team Bravo], led by Steven Wallis from Britain, works in contact with the Syrian government, while the other one [Team Alpha], headed by his fellow countryman Leonard Phillips, deals with the claims filed by the Syrian armed opposition. THIS LATTER GROUP IS WORKING COMPLETELY NON-TRANSPARENTLY. ITS MEMBERSHIP IS CLASSIFIED, AND NO ONE KNOWS WHERE IT GOES OR HOW IT OPERATES. They are allegedly using the same methodology as Steven Wallis' group, but they are clearly working mostly remotely, relying on the internet and the fabrications provided by Syrian opposition NGOs, and never go to Syria. At least, we are not aware of a single such trip".

But the unspeakable "journalists" of the MSM (and RT is not much better the interview with the suspects is a joke ) do not bother with such complicated details. They just write "OPCW confirms use of Sarin" in Khan Sheikhoun (and "Novichok" in Salisbury) and ignore all contradicting evidence and the MOTIVE the UK gov has for demonizing Russia (spoiling their dirty game in Syria and "Sykes-Picot №2") so one can only agree with this comment:

"Professional journalism is now a wasteland. There is no public exposure of what we all know has happened and the threat it represents to us all . They have been disloyal to us, so we owe them no respect in return".

And finally – on the implied higher "morality" of UK politics:

The ECJ has just recently found that the UK's mass surveillance programmes, revealed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, did "not meet the 'quality of law' requirement" and were "incapable of limiting 'interference' to what is 'necessary in a democratic society'"'.(P.387 of the judgement: Case of Big Brother Watch & others vs .UK)

Mark Chapman October 4, 2018 at 11:51 am
The British evidently thought also about the lunacy of transporting a nerve agent in sufficient quantity to kill dozens if not hundreds in a glass bottle; that's why Hamish de Beegee chimed in with his article about how the FSB and the Kremlin had invested months of work and thousands of pounds developing a ceramic bottle which looked just like the real thing, but which you could stand a Volkswagen on top of. That's why I pointed out that they had already used the excuse that it broke to establish how Rowley was exposed.
Jen October 4, 2018 at 2:49 pm
I suspect The Netherlands are being targeted because among other things the International Court of Crimes and the International Court of Justice are based in The Hague. There may be other reasons as well: the Dutch must have a fair few skeletons in their collective closet and the US could very well target one of these and bring the entire wardrobe crashing down and exposing all its sordid secrets. One of these bone-shakers is that The Netherlands is a major corporate tax haven and as such competes with Britain and the US.
http://www.nomoretax.eu/netherlands-tax-haven/

[Oct 12, 2018] OPSW VIOLATES THEIR OWN RULES about ensuring a forensic "chain of custody" because they did not take bio-samples THEMSELVES but accepted the (2nd-hand) material that the 'authorities" had given them.

Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile October 4, 2018 at 9:51 am

I forget where I picked the following up ( from some Russian blog, because it is a translation). I saved it but forget to put in the source:

September 14, 2018
THE DUBIOUS ROLE OF THE OPCW
(OPCW NEVER uses the word "Novichok")
Even those people who are skeptical about what the British government says (and rightly so) tend to accept the „Novichok"-Psyop after they read that "OPCW confirms Novichok nerve agent in Amesbury". But if you actually read what the (summary) of the OPCW says, you will find the following:

"The team requested and received vials of biomedical samples COLLECTED BY THE BRITISH AUTHORITIES for delivery to the OPCW laboratory and subsequent analysis by OPCW designated laboratories for purposes of comparison and in order to verify the analysis conducted by the United Kingdom. (S 1671, Paragraph 6.)

This VIOLATES THEIR OWN RULES about ensuring a forensic "chain of custody" because they did not take bio-samples THEMSELVES but accepted the (2nd-hand) material that the 'authorities" had given them.

Regarding the "Premier Jour" perfume-story the OPCW has this to say:

"During the second deployment [6 weeks after Sturgess fell ill] the team collected a sample of the contents of a small bottle that the police had seized as a suspect item from the house of Charles Rowley in Amesbury" (P. 9)

In paragraph 10 they confirm that the results of the subsequent analysis "show that the sample consists of a toxic chemical at a concentration of 97-98% therefore considered to be "of high purity". (If Charly had got this on his skin he would not have survived )

Again, the chain of custody is non-existent: The OPCW did NOT collect the glass-vial in Rowley's flat, and could not verify its condition at the end of June, but they accepted what "the authorities" had told them about it and examined a sample of its content. There was plenty of time to tamper with the bottle before the OPCW arrived in Salisbury (so malfeasance cannot be ruled out).

(BTW, Sometimes you don't see the wood for the trees: WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would transport a deadly nerve-agent in a GLASS-BOTTLE??????)

Again they accepted material from the British authorities (as if they were incapable of any deception )
What former (Iraq) weapons-inspector Scott Ritter wrote about the OPCW „fact-finding" mission in Syria is also to a certain extent relevant in the Skripal-Saga:

"The problem, however, is that the OPCW is in no position to make the claim it did. One of the essential aspects of the kind of forensic investigation carried out by organizations such as the OPCW -- namely the application of scientific methods and techniques to the investigation of a crime -- is the concept of "chain of custody" of any samples that are being evaluated. This requires a seamless transition from the collection of the samples in question, the process of which must be recorded and witnessed, the sealing of the samples, the documentation of the samples, the escorted transportation of the samples to the laboratory, the confirmation and breaking of the seals under supervision, and the subsequent processing of the samples, all under supervision of the OPCW. Anything less than this means the integrity of the sample has been compromised -- in short, there is no sample."
(Article: Ex-weapons-inspector: Trump's Sarin Claims built on „Lie" by Scott Ritter)

Here, Ritter was referring the fact that the OPCW was not able to actually visit the (terrorist-controlled) "crime-scene" in Khan Sheikhoun but instead went to Turkey (!) where they accepted testimonies and material given to them by the White Helmets and other artificial "NGOs" ("highly likely" paid and organized by MI6, DGSE and the CIA). There they were able to observe autopsies of the 3 alleged victims of the poison-gas attack.

"An NGO had delivered the bodies to the hospitals, though OPCW will not publicly comment on the identity of the NGO. Samples from the bodies were provided to two separate laboratories, which independently confirmed indications of sarin or sarin-like substances.

In criminal proceedings, though, which are similar to the process followed by the UN in determining a war crime, it is a fundamental principle that ALL EVIDENCE be under the control of investigators AT ALL TIMES. That didn't happen in this case."

By the way, the OPCW-FFM in Syria (regarding the Douma-incident) was led by two BRITISH "experts":
The work of the fact finding mission [FFM] was criticized by the Russian Permanent Representative to the OPCW who complained on 14 April 2017 that:

"Under the mandate defined for [the FFM], its membership should be approved by the Syrian government, and it should be balanced. For some time, these provisions were observed somewhat, but then the mission was split into two groups. One [Team Bravo], led by Steven Wallis from Britain, works in contact with the Syrian government, while the other one [Team Alpha], headed by his fellow countryman Leonard Phillips, deals with the claims filed by the Syrian armed opposition. THIS LATTER GROUP IS WORKING COMPLETELY NON-TRANSPARENTLY. ITS MEMBERSHIP IS CLASSIFIED, AND NO ONE KNOWS WHERE IT GOES OR HOW IT OPERATES. They are allegedly using the same methodology as Steven Wallis' group, but they are clearly working mostly remotely, relying on the internet and the fabrications provided by Syrian opposition NGOs, and never go to Syria. At least, we are not aware of a single such trip".

But the unspeakable "journalists" of the MSM (and RT is not much better the interview with the suspects is a joke ) do not bother with such complicated details. They just write "OPCW confirms use of Sarin" in Khan Sheikhoun (and "Novichok" in Salisbury) and ignore all contradicting evidence and the MOTIVE the UK gov has for demonizing Russia (spoiling their dirty game in Syria and "Sykes-Picot №2") so one can only agree with this comment:

"Professional journalism is now a wasteland. There is no public exposure of what we all know has happened and the threat it represents to us all . They have been disloyal to us, so we owe them no respect in return".

And finally – on the implied higher "morality" of UK politics:

The ECJ has just recently found that the UK's mass surveillance programmes, revealed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, did "not meet the 'quality of law' requirement" and were "incapable of limiting 'interference' to what is 'necessary in a democratic society'"'.(P.387 of the judgement: Case of Big Brother Watch & others vs .UK)

Mark Chapman October 4, 2018 at 11:51 am
The British evidently thought also about the lunacy of transporting a nerve agent in sufficient quantity to kill dozens if not hundreds in a glass bottle; that's why Hamish de Beegee chimed in with his article about how the FSB and the Kremlin had invested months of work and thousands of pounds developing a ceramic bottle which looked just like the real thing, but which you could stand a Volkswagen on top of. That's why I pointed out that they had already used the excuse that it broke to establish how Rowley was exposed.
Aule Valar October 4, 2018 at 10:55 am
US forces out head of OPCW: https://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/23/world/us-forces-out-head-of-chemical-arms-agency.html

That's an actual title in NYT, they are not even hiding.

Step 1: give OPCW expanded powers
Step 2: install a US-friendly head of agency
Step 3: we shall see.

Mark Chapman October 4, 2018 at 11:56 am
Explosive. Nobody but Americans can be trusted to run international institutions, especially when they are bought and paid for by the USA. Hey, that'd be a good job for Travis Tygart. He has been chafing lately about the limits of his power to get at Russia from USADA.

The pace of events seems to be taking on momentum, as if it is leading up to something, and there's that kind of stillness in the air, while sounds seem far away and tinny, like just before a big storm breaks.

et Al October 4, 2018 at 12:38 pm
They're going for broke. Trans: going until it is broken.
Aule Valar October 4, 2018 at 3:36 pm
I must apologize for not noticing that the article is from 2002. Sorry.

Still, it does show how much more pull US has in those supposedly indpendent agencies than everyone else.

Mark Chapman October 4, 2018 at 10:41 pm
I didn't notice either. It felt so current, considering the ongoing situation.

[Oct 12, 2018] Jeez, those NATo propagandists are tough!

Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile October 10, 2018 at 5:59 am

Reporting it like it is

Alexander Mishkin, the second man accused of involvement in the Skripal assassination plot, was likely to have been sent on the mission because he was a trained doctor capable of providing an antidote in case the novichok attack went wrong, according to security sources.

Dr Mishkin, like the GRU colleague who travelled with him to Salisbury, was made a 'Hero of the Russian Federation' with Vladimir Putin personally presenting him with the award, according to the investigative website Bellingcat.

Second Skripal suspect likely sent to Salisbury to administer novichok antidote, security sources say
'We know that novichok exposure needs immediate antidote so it makes eminent sense to have a military doctor, who is also a trained GRU operative, who can play his part in the operation'

Mark Chapman October 10, 2018 at 8:36 am
The 'antidote' to nerve-agent exposure is atropine, which is broadly marketed to world defense forces in an auto-injector. Your medical expertise in dispensing it is to remove the protective cap, and strike it against your thigh in the muscle, point-first – the internal spring does the rest, right through your clothing. We used to practice it regularly in NBCD training, except the fluid in training injectors is just water. Some crybaby pointed out the needle might pick up a fragment of cloth on its way in, and cause an infection, so we stopped doing it with real needles, and now you just get a thump against your leg from the spring.

https://chemm.nlm.nih.gov/antidote_nerveagents.htm

Military forces are also trained to administer atropine to stricken comrades who were overcome before they could react. Just be sure to give him his own atropine and not yours, and push the needle through his pocket-flap afterward and then bend it over, so that anyone happening on the scene after you have left will know he has already been given atropine and not administer another dose. Atropine overdose causes its own set of problems.

I think it's pretty clear that it does not 'make eminent sense' to have a 'qualified military doctor along in case something went wrong with the Novichok', since anyone can administer Atropine and there is an enormous worldwide base of soldiers and ex-soldiers who could do it as well as anyone else. Horseshit piled on top of horseshit.

kirill October 10, 2018 at 8:23 pm
For some bizarre reason this UK fairy tale requires many Russians. One isn't enough to smear some alleged top secret nerve agent on a door knob (at least in one of the dozens of contradictory theories spewed by Scotland Yard). Wearing gloves (e.g. store bought nitrile ones which would stop this poison, unlike latex ones) is clearly considered too much intellectual effort for Russian untermenschen and they need a doctor to tag along. This fictional doctor claim is patently absurd. A doctor without hospital facilities is nothing but a paramedic and as you rightly describe no such person is needed to administer atropine.

The average media sap in the UK and NATzO apparently can't be bothered to do any thinking. The best assassination plot would involve only a single agent and not a handful. Even freaking video games have the lone assassin meme repeated. One agent could also have a well established cover story. A gang of assassins would essentially be evidence against itself. A whole specially designed bottle of nerve agent is ridiculous and unnecessary. And having it disposed of in a way that it can be found by some homeless junkies is simply not credible. Don't they have sewer grates in the UK?

[Oct 12, 2018] Like the values and rules that led the NSA to eavesdrop on Chancellor Merkel's phone calls for years, and to use American Embassies as listening posts. Mutti Merkel was very understanding, considering they were only doing it to keep us all safe.

Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman October 4, 2018 at 11:02 am

"the GRU's disregard for global values and rules that keep us all safe".

Like the values and rules that led the NSA to eavesdrop on Chancellor Merkel's phone calls for years, and to use American Embassies as listening posts. Mutti Merkel was very understanding, considering they were only doing it to keep us all safe.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/cover-story-how-nsa-spied-on-merkel-cell-phone-from-berlin-embassy-a-930205.html

The British and the Dutch – and doubtless all America's many 'allies' – have no real pride left. They just keep bending over further.

[Oct 12, 2018] if Russia is so incompetent- why are they deemed a threat? Why is NATO beating the war drums about such a country?

Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

James lake October 5, 2018 at 4:07 am

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/05/string-of-own-goals-by-russian-gru-spies-reveals-new-trend-of-sloppiness

The secretive, daring GRU seems to have lost its way in the age of internet search

//if Russia is so incompetent- why are they deemed a threat?
//Why is NATO beating the war drums about such a country?

Moscow Exile October 5, 2018 at 4:15 am
Because it is dangerous in its incompetence?
yalensis October 5, 2018 at 1:48 pm
There is nothing more dangerous than a monkey armed with a hand grenade(?)
kirill October 5, 2018 at 6:02 am
As pointed out elsewhere there is no such agency called the GRU. Like there is no agency called the KGB. This in itself demonstrates that NATzO is spreading pure propaganda.
Mark Chapman October 5, 2018 at 9:14 am
It's probably not sloppiness, per se; it's more that Britain has reached a new level of dazzling investigative brilliance, so that normal GRU tradecraft can no longer withstand its piercing eye.

[Oct 11, 2018] Most American LNG cargoes thus far to Europe are promptly sold on to someplace else where the Europeans can get more for it.

Oct 11, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman October 8, 2018 at 5:46 pm

In another stellar example of simply making up an optimistic headline that makes readers feel good – those readers who only read headlines, for example – a French analyst is apparently willing to go out on a limb and say that Nord Stream II 'won't be built as planned'. That's already a little hedgy, but if you read the article itself, he doesn't say anything remotely like that. In fact, he says Russian gas is the cheapest option, and most American LNG cargoes thus far to Europe are promptly sold on to someplace else where the Europeans can get more for it.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/interview/french-analyst-nord-stream-2-wont-be-built-as-planned/

The major issue is that US LNG may come if we have higher prices. But why would we need them? They are quite high already. If China is prepared to overbid us, we don't need the American gas. We can ask for more Russian gas

Mark Chapman October 8, 2018 at 6:50 pm
Russia's Energy Minister sees the potential to double Russian gas exports by 2035. Russia's gas exports are growing by 6-7%/yr while global gas demand growth is at 2.6%/yr until 2035.

https://www.naturalgasworld.com/russian-producers-eye-doubling-exports-64936?#signin

Probably not the greatest news for the environment, as most analysts agree we need to start immediately moving away from a petroleum-based energy policy. But getting rid of all use of coal would be a good start for the present; gas is relatively clean, although I don't know if that makes any real difference to greenhouse-gas emissions.

[Oct 11, 2018] Dutch push for a new sanctions regime for Human Rights abusers, apart from global sponsors of Islamic terrorism who also happen to have $$$

Oct 08, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Vis the Dutch push for a new sanctions regime for Human Rights abusers, apart from global sponsors of Islamic terrorism who also happen to have $$$, the obvious takeaway that only just occurred to me is that the push for a European Magnitsky Act must have failed.

This is exactly the same thing, they just dropped the name. The EU is not united and I don't see the Netherlands as having enough influence in the EU without the UK.

[Oct 11, 2018] More Cold War Extremism and Crises by Stephen F. Cohen

Oct 03, 2018 | www.thenation.com

Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at NYU and Princeton University, and John Batchelor continue their discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments, now in their fifth year, are at TheNation.com.)

Emphasizing growing Cold War extremism in Washington and war-like crises in US-Russian relations elsewhere, Cohen comments on the following examples:

Russiagate, even though none of its core allegations have been proven, is now a central part of the new Cold War, severely limiting President Trump's ability to conduct crisis-negotiations with Moscow and further vilifying Russian President Putin for having ordered "an attack on America" during the 2016 presidential election. The New York Times and The Washington Post have been leading promoters of the Russiagate narrative, even though several of its foundational elements have been seriously challenged, even discredited.

Nonetheless, both papers recently devoted thousands of words to retelling the same narrative -- on September 20 and 23, respectively -- along with its obvious fallacies. For example, Paul Manafort, during the crucial time he was advising then Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, was not "pro-Russian" but pro -- European Union. And contrary to insinuations, General Michael Flynn did nothing wrong or unprecedented in having conversations with a representative of the Kremlin on behalf of President-elect Trump. Many other presidents-elect had instructed top aides to do the same. The epic retellings of the Russiagate narrative by both papers, at extraordinary length, were riddled with similar mistakes and unproven allegations. (Nonetheless, a prominent historian, albeit one seemingly little informed both about Russiagate documents and about Kremlin leadership, characterized the widely discredited anti-Trump Steele dossier -- the source of many such allegations -- as "increasingly plausible.")

Astonishingly, neither the Times nor the Post give any credence to the emphatic statement made at least one week before by Bob Woodward -- normally considered the most authoritative chronicler of Washington's political secrets -- that after two years of research he had found "no evidence of collusion" between Trump and Russia.

For the Times and Post and other mainstream media outlets, Russiagate has become, it seems, a kind of cult journalism that no counter-evidence or analysis can dint, and thus itself is a major contributing factor to the new and more dangerous Cold War. Still worse, what began nearly two years ago as complaints about Russian "meddling" in the US presidential campaign has become for The New Yorker and other publications an accusation that the Kremlin actually put Trump in the White House. For this reckless charge, with its inherent contempt for the good sense of American voters, there is no convincing evidence -- nor any precedent in American history.

Meanwhile, current and former US officials are making unprecedented threats against Moscow. NATO ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchinson threatened to "take out" any Russian missiles she thought violated a 1987 arms treaty, a step that would risk nuclear war. The secretary of the interior threatened a "naval blockade" of Russia. In an unprecedented, undiplomatic Russophobic outburst, UN ambassador Nikki Haley declared that "lying, cheating and rogue behavior" are a "norm of Russian culture."

These may be outlandish statements by untutored appointed political figures, though they inescapably raise the question: Who is making Russia policy in Washington -- President Trump with his avowed policy of "cooperating with Russia," or someone else?

But how to explain, other than as unbridled extremism, statements by a former US ambassador to Moscow and longtime professor of Russian politics, who appears to be the mainstream media's leading authority on Russia? According to him, Russia today is "a rogue state," its policies "criminal actions," and the "world's worst threat." It must be countered by "preemptive sanctions that would go into effect automatically" -- indeed, "every day," if deemed necessary. [These are the words of Michael McFaul, who has appointments at Stanford University which has become a friendly home for warmongers.]

Considering the "crippling" sanctions now being prepared by a bipartisan group of US senators -- their actual reason and purpose apparently unknown even to them -- this would be nothing less than a declaration of war against Russia; economic war, but war nonetheless.

Several other new Cold War fronts are also fraught with hot war, but today none more than Syria.

Another reminder occurred on September 17, when Syria accidentally shot down an allied Russian surveillance plane, killing all 15 crew members. The cause, as is known, was subterfuge by Israeli F-15s supplied by Washington that used the larger radar image of the Russian airplane to cloak their illegal attack on Syria. The reaction in Moscow was highly indicative -- potentially ominous.

At first, Putin, who had developed good relations with Israel's political leadership, said the incident was an accident, an example of the fog of war. His own Ministry of Defense, however, loudly protested, blaming Israel. Putin quickly retreated, adopting a much more hard-line position, and in the end vowed to send to Syria Russia's highly effective S-300 surface-to-air defense system, a prize both Syria and Iran have requested in vain for years. [Actually, Russia has now supplied both Iran and Syria the S-300.]

Second, if the S-300s are installed in Syria (they will be operated by Russians, not Syrians), Putin can in effect impose a "no-fly zone" over that country, which has been torn by war due, in no small part, to the presence of several major foreign powers. (Russia and Iran are there legally; the United States and Israel are not.) If so, it will be a new "red line" that Washington and Tel Aviv must decide whether or not to cross. Considering the mania in Washington, it's hard to be confident that wisdom will prevail. [Actually, it is likely that Putin will shift the responsibility of using the air defense system to Syria.]

All of this unfolded on approximately the third anniversary of Russia's military intervention in Syria, in September 2015. At that time, Washington pundits denounced Putin's "adventure" and were sure it would "fail." Three years later, "Putin's Kremlin" has destroyed the vicious Islamic State's grip on large parts of Syria, all but restored President Assad's control over most of the country, and has become the ultimate arbiter of Syria's future. President Trump would do best by joining Moscow's peace process, though it is unlikely Washington's mostly Democratic Russiagate party will permit him to do so. (For perspective, recall that, in 2016, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton promised to impose a US no-fly zone over Syria to defy Russia.)

There is also this. As the US-led "liberal world order" disintegrates, not only in Syria, a new alliance is emerging between Russia, China, Iran, and possibly NATO member Turkey. It will be a real "threat" only if Washington makes it one, as it has Russia in recent years.

Finally, the US-Russian proxy war in Ukraine has recently acquired a new dimension. In addition to the civil war in Donbass, Moscow and Kiev have begun to challenge each other's ships in the Sea of Azov, near the vital Ukrainian port city of Mariupol. Trump is being pressured to supply Kiev with naval and other weapons to wage this evolving war, yet another potential tripwire. Here too President Trump would do best by putting his administration's weight behind the long-stalled Minsk peace accords. Here, too, this seemed to be his original intention, but it has proven to be yet another approach, it now seems, thwarted by Russiagate.

Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University and a contributing editor of The Nation .

[Oct 11, 2018] New clues may help locate lost intelligence files from 1938 French-British-Nazi pact

Oct 11, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al October 8, 2018 at 7:38 am

IntelNews: New clues may help locate lost intelligence files from 1938 French-British-Nazi pact
https://intelnews.org/2018/10/01/01-2408/

October 1, 2018 by Joseph Fitsanakis

Nearly 2,000 missing British intelligence files relating to the so-called Munich Agreement, a failed attempt by Britain, France and Italy to appease Adolf Hitler in 1938, may not have been destroyed, according to historians
####

More at the link.

The UK government also claimed that they did not have the files relating to their backing of Kenyans who tortured and killed those taking part in the Mau Mau Rebellion. If I remember correctly, A dozen or so large files were discovered in a skip outside an MoD office that was being sold off.

Mark Chapman October 8, 2018 at 9:11 am
If so, it was a mistake to suggest the files may not have been destroyed before they were safely in non-partisan custody. The west has too much invested in preserving its Molotov-Ribbentrop indignation to allow for even the possibility of equivalency, and efforts to find any such files and destroy or discredit them will go into overdrive.
Cortes October 8, 2018 at 11:23 am
Nothing unusual there.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/542133.Haig_s_Command

is a fantastic book and central to it is the author's ingenious way to get round the systematic doctoring of official reports and first-hand accounts of WWI. One appendix has quite astonishing portraits of many of the leading players, one of which – that of the American Pershing – is almost comical in describing the disappearance of swathes of files bearing witness to his incompetence; so it's not just the Brits.

[Oct 11, 2018] After the Nazis and their Baltic allies lost the war, the Balts (like other Eastern Europeans) had to do some serious shucking and jiving to re-brand themselves as Jeffersonian Democrats. Hence, the phony "dual totalitarian" or "dual-genocide" theories, which their court philosophers and historians quickly pulled out of their collective asses.

Oct 11, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

yalensis October 5, 2018 at 3:25 am

On that topic of Baltic collaborationism, I just finished posting this 4-part series about the Salaspils concentration camp in Latvia.

When you think about it, it really doesn't take much rocket science to understand why a segment (possibly the majority) of Baltic populations supported the Nazis at the time:

(1) This segment of the public were politically right-wing anyhow, they liked the fascist ideas and they hated Communism;
(2) The Nazis regarded the Balts as racially superior to the Jews and Slavs, so Balts felt they could live quite comfortably under Nazi domination, and they were right about that;
(3) They disliked Jews and were not sad to see them go.

Basically, in the Baltic states, the majority (probably) were pro-Nazi, and the other segment were pro-Communist. I reckon there were very few people in between.

After the Nazis and their Baltic allies lost the war, the Balts (like other Eastern Europeans) had to do some serious shucking and jiving to re-brand themselves as Jeffersonian Democrats. Hence, the phony "dual totalitarian" or "dual-genocide" theories, which their court philosophers and historians quickly pulled out of their collective asses.

Mark Chapman October 5, 2018 at 8:54 am
And you can probably see why much of the west is quietly pro-Nazi now as well. The pro-Nazi Ukrainian nationalists espouse western values – get rid of immigrants and the retarded and those who don't pull their weight, and most of all the dirty Russians, and usher in a land of purity and decency and bustling commerce, and let's hear no more of 'tolerance'. The movers and shakers in the west support liberal policies because they must, and they are sometimes useful as leverage, but if you were to yell "America for Americans" in the House or Senate, most of the Republicans and probably a few Democrats would stand and salute before they could stop themselves.
kirill October 5, 2018 at 10:54 am
I don't see the republicans being the Nazis. The US war party is composed of both Democraps and Rethuglicans. The Republican base has values closer in line with paleocons and not the neocons. The values of the Democraps are pure imperialist, exceptionalist and totalitarian in the name of PC. Obummer was neocon tool like W. Bush. Thus it is the Democraps that are the proper heirs of the Nazis and their 4th Reich global domination project. Paleocons are isolationist nationalists that actually believe in the constitutional values that the USA claims to espouse. The Democraps are all about lust for power and dirty tricks to enable the seizing of power. Obummer weaponized the FBI and CIA into partisan instruments giving us the Russia meddling inquisition. Truman was a foaming at the mouth racist cold warrior. Eisenhower at least warned about the creeping influence of the MIC. Clinton was a slimeball that continued the Reich agenda in the Balkans. And so on.

[Oct 11, 2018] Gleiwitz replay by British is planned

Oct 11, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile October 6, 2018 at 10:03 pm

Panic in Mordor!!!

Britain is ready to conduct a cyber attack against Russia -- The Sunday Times

The British military is ready to take this step in case of an "attack" by Russia against one of the Western countries

LONDON, 7 October 2018, 07:28 -- REGNUM The military command of Great Britain has announced its willingness to carry out a cyber attack against Moscow , writes the British newspaper "The Sunday Times" on 7 October,.

According to the publication, citing an unnamed source closely familiar with the situation , the British military is ready to take this step in case of an "attack" by Russia against a Western country. This measure will be possible when Britain has a shortage of conventional defence resources and will manifest itself by the fact that the capital of Russia will have its energy supplies cut off.

According to the "Sunday Times" source, variants of "Russian aggression", against which the British military is prepared to use cyber weapons, are said to be an invasion by Russian President Vladimir Putin of Libya in order to seize oil and to create a new crisis of migrants in Europe and an attempt to capture "small Islands belonging to Estonia". [Such action would be taken by the UK] so as to comply with a NATO clause, in which an attack against one member is considered to be an attack against the whole alliance.

We should note that recently the West has been constantly accusing Russia of cyber attacks against the West for economic sabotage and interference in local political life. However, tangible evidence of Russian guilt as regards such accusations has not once been provided.

My stress above.

Why should Russia, personified as the Dark Lord, wish to seize oil in Libya? Has Russia no oil of its own?